Running does not cause joint arthritis says a new study cited in the Washington Post.

Running does not cause joint arthritis says a new study cited in the Washington Post.

There are many old wives tales out there concerning health related problems. It turns out one of the biggest is that running causes joint arthritis. Many sports physicians who understand body mechanics including Louis Maharam M.D., known because of his work with the NY Marathon believe as well that running does not cause arthritis. In our office, we believe the same based on years of experience even with runners who have some degeneration in their joints.

Now there is science that is supporting the idea that running does not cause arthritis or arthritic degeneration. Check out this new article in the Washington Post.

Runners are not giving themselves arthritis

By Christie Aschwanden, Published: August 12

While out on a run recently, I passed a hiker on the trail. “My knees hurt just watching you,” he told me, shaking his head. It was a variation on a comment I hear over and over: Keep running like that, and you’ll give yourself arthritic knees.

The notion that running causes wear and tear on the joints that could spur arthritis makes some intuitive sense. But is it true?

No — if anything, running probably offers protection from osteoarthritis, says Paul Williams, an exercise scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who leads the National Runners’ Health Study and the National Walkers’ Health Study. These projects have enlisted almost 90,000 runners and walkers and followed them since the studies began, in 1991 and 1997, respectively. In an analysis recentlypublished in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Williams calculated rates of osteoarthritis and hip replacement among participants in his studies and found that runners were approximately half as likely as walkers to develop osteoarthritis or need a hip replacement. Furthermore, runners who ran the most had the lowest risk of osteoarthritis.

“There’s a perception out there that somehow you’re wearing out your joints if you’re out there running,” Williams says, but the thousands of runners in his study show this just isn’t so. “I’ve recruited people who were doing 60 or 70 miles per week, and we’ve followed them over time,” he says. “If there had been an effect, we would have seen it.”

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