Runners do not get knee arthritis, says the NY Times; what you need to know

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Runners do not get knee arthritis, says the NY Times; what you need to know Do some runners have bad knees? Some do, however, there is growing evidence to show it is not running that harms the knees. Body mechanics plays a large part in whether people develop knee problems says Dr. Charschan. "While running may make those body mechanics feel worsen, it is not the running itself that causes the problems in the knees, but rather the body style, asymmetry, foot over pronation and other mechanical aberration's that cause the problem in the persons knees; running just exacerbates that however, with some help such as core stability work, myofascial release treatment and the right footwear, people run without ruining their knees. " You can learn more about why this approach helps by reading Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain available on Check out the NY Times article here
One of the most entrenched beliefs about running, at least among nonrunners, is that it causes arthritis and ruins knees. But a nifty new study finds that this idea is a myth and distance running is unlikely to contribute to the development of arthritis, precisely and paradoxically because it involves so much running. It's easy to understand, of course, why running is thought to harm the knee joint, since with every stride, ballistic forces move through a runner's knee. Common sense would suggest that repeatedly applying such loads to a joint should eventually degrade its protective cartilage, leading to arthritis. But many of the available, long-term studies of runners show that, as long as knees are healthy to start with, running does not substantially increase the risk of developing arthritis, even if someone jogs into middle age and beyond. An impressively large cross-sectional study of almost 75,000 runners published in July, for instance, found "no evidence that running increases the risk of osteoarthritis, including participation in marathons." The runners in the study, in fact, had less overall risk of developing arthritis than people who were less active. But how running can combine high impacts with a low risk for arthritis has been mysterious. So for a new study helpfully entitled, "Why Don't Most Runners Get Knee Osteoarthritis?" researchers at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and other institutions looked more closely at what happens, biomechanically, when we run and how those actions compare with walking. Walking is widely considered a low-impact activity, unlikely to contribute much to the onset or progression of knee arthritis. Many physicians recommend walking for their older patients, in order to mitigate weight gain and stave off creaky knees. read more