During this time that the world is experiencing the pandemic, most people have resulted to outdoor exercises such as walking, jogging and running. This outburst of people across roads and in playfields is as a result of closure of gyms, urge of being physically active or boredom at home. You will know you’ve arrived as a runner when you get a lecture on how you are going to destroy your knees due to running. This “advice” is usually based on the idea that running increases your risk of developing osteoarthritis in your knees but the truth is, it doesn’t.

Running is a high impact sport that puts stress on the joints. However when done incorrectly it hurts .There are several myths in regards to running that are false. Here are a few:

Running might increase the risk of osteoarthritis

Not exercising because you might get arthritic knees is one of the most common myths about running. As a general rule, if you have osteoarthritis it is fine to exercise. Studies done indicate that in fact running as an exercise is good for the knees. This actually helps improve the cartilage in between joints instead of breaking it down. People who live a sedentary lifestyle have higher risk of getting osteoarthritis.

Don’t do ANY exercise if you have any knee pain

If you have knee pain, you need to be careful when doing weight-bearing exercises. For instance, Zumba, aerobics, jumping, running and sprinting are exercises that can all put a strain on your knee joints but you can still exercise. You just need to choose wisely. It’s dependent on the knee problem to what exercise you can do. If you get pain, stop or slow down. Don’t push through the pain; listen to what your body is telling you.

Tips for Effective Running.

  • Get a biomechanical analysis of the running form.
  • Acquire proper shoes of the correct size for running.
  • Stretch before and after running.
  • If possible run on irregular grounds rather than on tarmac or pavements.
  • Condition your muscles with proper strengthening exercises
  • Avoid running too much too soon in order to reduce strain on muscles, ligaments and joints.
  • Seek medical advice and treatment anytime there is an acute injury or consistent pain.

Written by

Danson King’ori
Physical Therapist
Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Health Centre

Is Running Good For The Knees?

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