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Knee Arthritis Not Caused by Running, According to Study

Despite the popular misconception that running causes knee arthritis, a new study has shown that not only does running not cause knee arthritis, but it also may even be beneficial for knee health. For the many people who regularly go running concerned about the deterioration of their knee joints in later years, this study suggests that long distance running is as harmful to your body as walking.

It is important to note that patients who already suffer from knee joint problems, such as osteoarthritis should still consult with a doctor before running or participating in other cardiovascular activities. At Meier Orthopedic Sports Medicine in Los Angeles, Dr. Steven Meier and his team diagnose and treat conditions of the knee. If you would like to learn about your knee arthritis treatment options, please contact our Beverly Hills facilities today at (310) 777-7845.

Running Poses No More Risk Than Walking for Developing Knee Arthritis

The new study on knee arthritis, published at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, found that the force of impact (which occurs during running) is three times that of walking. However, because a person’s strides are longer when running, the force of the impact evens out between runners and walkers across long distances. Therefore, the study showed that, over time, the “pounding” associated with the impact from running is actually equivalent to the low-impact effect of walking.

The Queen’s University study came on the heels of a July study conducted at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which examined 75,000 runners. This particular study found that the presence of osteoarthritis was very rare among the runners. These findings begged the question of exactly why runners were not more at risk for osteoarthritis than non-runners, despite the common perception that running damages the knee joints over time. To answer this question, the researchers at Queen’s University conducted research to determine the reason for this lack of osteoarthritis found in long-term runners. They concluded that running essentially has the same effect on the knees as walking.

In addition to these findings, the Queen’s University study also showed that running may actually be beneficial for the knee joints. According to the study, “cyclical loading” (in which force is applied to the joint, immediately removed, and then applied again) can increase strength in knee cartilage because it helps the cartilage divide and replenish tissue.

So, for runners with no prior knee conditions, this cardiovascular activity is actually very beneficial to your health in many ways.

Knee Arthroscopy in Los Angeles

If you do suffer from joint pain and are concerned that you may have knee arthritis or another ailment, you could choose to undergo a diagnostic knee arthroscopy. During the procedure, your orthopedic surgeon will examine the knee cartilage and inside of the knee joint in order to determine what (if any) condition or disease is present. If your surgeon detects arthritis within the knee, he can treat the condition during the diagnostic arthroscopy, removing any damaged cartilage and repairing the inside of the joint. This minimally invasive procedure requires only two small incisions and can be performed on an outpatient basis, which means that you can go home the same day of your surgery. Talk to your primary care physician about this or contact an renowned orthopedic specialist like Dr. Meier.

Contact a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon Today

At Meier Orthopedic Sports Medicine, we understand how important being able to run is for those who exercise regularly. If you suffer from knee arthritis, joint pain, or another condition of the knee, please don’t hesitate to contact our Beverly Hills office and learn about your treatment options. You can schedule a consultation online or call us at (310) 777-7845.

Next, read about knee procedures offered at our facilities.


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The information available on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician's judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions and or treatment options. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care decisions.