You may have heard that running is bad for your knees; But this issue depends on various conditions and factors such as shoes, training method and physical condition of people.
Whether you are a runner or not, you have probably heard that running is bad for your knees. You may have rejected this hypothesis, and you may believe it. There is a lot of research showing that running is not necessarily the main cause of knee pain.
Myth: Running is bad for your knees
According to research, competitive runners experience a lower percentage of knee osteoarthritis, and running is not necessarily a risk factor for knee osteoarthritis. This is especially true for older runners who have a long history of running.
According to a 21-year study, running habit has a general correlation with reducing the risk of disability. If you already have knee pain, the issue is a little different, and it is not clear if running osteoarthritis or other problems will help you run long distances. Of course, research in this area is promising.
According to a study, running reduces joint inflammation in people who have osteoarthritis in at least one knee. According to another study, running can improve knee health indicators. For people with knee problems, working with a professional trainer or physiotherapist (based on a program tailored to each person) is the safest way to run.
Fact: Running the wrong way is bad for your knees
Running by itself is not harmful to the knees; But running the wrong way can definitely hurt your knees. According to Steve Stonehouse, Tutoring and STRIDE Training Director:
Anything that is done excessively or incorrectly can be harmful. In many cases, the cause of the problem is a movement defect that stops the performance and causes abnormalities in the joints.
Shoes, ground, and improper technique make running difficult. Common technical shortcomings of running include the following:
- Improper leg position, especially bending during running
- Pelvis deviated; Especially the anterior pelvic deviation, which causes the back to be stretched too much.
- Excessive foot insertion
- Blow to the sole of the foot, especially in combination with long steps
According to Stone House, some of the above problems can be solved by preparation, while others depend on physical makeup. If you repeat any of the above, you will no doubt run into trouble; But by focusing on the right moves, you can continue running without any problems or injuries.
Q: Is running good for the knees?
So far it has been found that running is not harmful to the knees. The question now is whether running can have a neutral or positive effect on the quality of the knees. Will the knees survive “running” or will running have a positive effect on them?
According to a 2020 study, running can be beneficial for the knees. According to computer modeling, running puts more strain on the knees than walking; But it also shows that the cartilage of the joints is more flexible and reactive than expected and may react to a stronger body. This research is not the first to make such suggestions. According to 2014 findings, increased stride length while running (and less ground contact) is the reason for the low rate of knee osteoarthritis among runners.
Computer models are presented in theory; As a result, the above study does not say everything about cartilage changes and growth without blood supply, and does not take into account issues such as genetics, body size, shoe type, and other criteria that affect the knee when running; But there is a potential answer to the question: How do millions of people compete in long-distance sprints each year without suffering any injuries?
Should I stop running if I have knee pain?
If you feel pain in your knees, you do not have to stop running. According to Stonehouse, you should first make sure you wear shoes that fit your foot anatomy and running style. If you are unsure, you can go to sports stores that use walking analysis to choose the right shoes.
After ensuring proper exercise equipment, you can do stretching exercises to help reduce knee pain. According to Stone House:
By understanding the root cause of pain, appropriate strengthening and flexibility exercises can be performed. In addition, the combination of running and walking intervals can moderate some of the effects of running; But if you have severe or permanent pain, be sure to consult a specialist. A physiologist is the best provider of treatment for running pain.