Running and your knees

leg anatomy

From West 4th Physiotherapy associate and runner Dee Malinsky


“Running will wear your knees out” It is something of a popular opinion for non runners to share with their running friends.  The last couple of posts dealt with the impact on the body of running surfaces. You can quickly review them here. – Running roads and trails – Running on concrete

But what does the evidence show for the long term effect of running on knee joints? Here are three happy (for runners) conclusions from recent studies/scientific reviews, all of which relate to the effect of running on knee health.

They state:

(1) that MRI studies do not show any anatomical lesions in average runners’ knees following marathon.

(2) that studies do not show more cartilage degeneration in runners than in non-runners.

(3) that, in fact, repetitive and progressive stress on joint cartilage will actually contribute to its thickening and strengthening.

So, with reference to preceding posts, provided your training develops suitably slowly your knees are not at risk from running as a sporting activity. This information provides support for the ability of our body to adapt to running, and refutes suggested negative effects of running on the knees of those who are well-adapted to it. You can begin with a simple walk run program such as this.

Start slowly, progress moderately and you can do well as a runner.

Dee Malinsky~ Dee Malinsky, MScPT
Dee Malinsky is an experienced physiotherapist and associate at West 4th Physiotherapy Clinic.
You can book an appointment with Dee through the office at 604 7309478
This entry was posted in Avoiding Injury, Knee, Running injuries and Prevention, Sports. Bookmark the permalink.

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