Well, at least the research says maybe not. While this might come as a big surprise to a lot of people, large studies have shown that people who run are significantly less likely to develop hip or knee osteoarthritis than people who don’t run. Only runners who are competing at an elite level (running professionally or internationally) are at an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis. Not only is running good for your joints but it is great for improving your overall health, mood and can be a great social avenue.
‘But every time I start increasing my running I get joint pain!’ Unfortunately, I often here this, particularly after I have told someone that running is good for you! If running is something you want to get into it is important to slowly add it into your routine over time so that your body can adapt to the training. This is something I have previously written about in a post about training volume. If you already have an injury, it would be beneficial to consult an experienced health professional on how you can incorporate running into your routine.
Research as recent as this year has shown that even with people that already have osteoarthritis, runners were more likely to have improvements in their symptoms compared to non-runners and were no more likely to develop worsening X-ray findings. This shows that even if you have already developed osteoarthritis, running will not necessarily make it worse and may in fact improve your symptoms.
This blog was written by David our physiotherapist at Health Space Clinics. You can find him at our Rozelle and Burwood clinics and if you would like to make an appointment please call us at 9810 8769.