Does Jogging Cause Arthritis?
"I love to run. It makes me feel great. But some of my non-runner friends keep warning me that I'm ruining my knees."
If you're a runner like me, you know that hitting the trail can be great for your heartand your head. But what about your hips and knees? Does all that stress on your joints make them more prone to arthritis, as some claim? The answer for most people, I'm happy to say, is no.
A number of long-term studies have found that regular joggersincluding those who are older and run relatively long distancesare at no greater risk of arthritis than non-runners. In fact, runners overall are less likely to have joint problems.
One reason is that running leads to stronger bones and muscles, which means less pressure on joints. It also helps control weight, which has the same effect.
Still, running can pose a risk of arthritis and disability for certain people, including those with a history of joint injuries and those with big bodies, whose joints have to absorb more force. In many cases, they can still run, but they need to be especially careful.
To help protect your joints, try to run on even surfaces with more give like a track or dirt trail instead of concrete.
Buy good running shoes and replace them regularly.
Take days off.
And stop if you feel pain.
It's also a good idea to cross-trainto include exercises that increase strength and flexibility, which make your joints less susceptible to injury. By taking the right steps, youand your jointscan reap the rewards of running for a lifetime.
This entry last modified on: January 24, 2013 5:41 PM
About the Video
Is arthritis caused by years of running? How do you protect your knees and hips? Our healthy skeptic tracks down the facts about how running affects your joints.