Does running increase your chance of hip and knee arthritis?


48 year old patient with knee pain, who likes to play basketball, was advised by his trainer to stop running/playing hoops since this would accelerate his arthritis.  So the question is


“Does running really increase your chances of developing knee and hip osteoarthritis?”


When you look at the research, the answer has much to do with the intensity and frequency of running. The benefits of running are numerous and include cardiovascular fitness, healthy bones, improved lung capacity, helps with weight loss, and brain health.  


The results of a study published in the June edition of the Journal of Physical Therapy concluded the following good news:


Recreational runners (2-3 times per week) actually had a much lower incidence of hip and knee arthritis as compared to sedentary folk who didn’t run (3% vs 10%). Although the study did find a higher correlation of hip and knee arthritis with those high intensity runners who ran more than 57 miles per week.  


Once again, mom was right: Most things done in moderation are good for us! Keep running, just cut down the mileage.

Questions? Just ask

Ed Deboo, PT

Physical Therapy, Bellingham, Washington


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