Fight off Hip and Knee Arthritis: Just Run!
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is not a normal part of aging; it is a degenerative condition that negatively affects the cartilage in joints and causes pain and stiffness. It is usually caused by repetitive abnormal stress on a joint over time, resulting in cartilage in the joints thinning out. Cartilage acts as a slippery padding that allows two, or more, bones to glide along each other when the body performs movements. Over time, if the cartilage in a joint becomes too thin the bones that form a joint may grind against each other, and this is part of what contributes to the pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis.
Cartilage is avascular, meaning it does not have its own blood supply. Unfortunately, this means that cartilage is unable to heal once is has thinned. Cartilage gets its nutrition when the joint it is part of moves because the movement causes nutrient filled fluid to diffuse into the cartilage. This is why movement and physical activity is actually protective to joints.
Running and its preventable role in hip and knee Osteoarthritis
A large study has found that recreational running helps to reduce your risk of developing hip and knee osteoarthritis compared to an inactive lifestyle. This helps debunk the popular myth that running increase your risk for osteoarthritis; in fact it does the opposite! That being said, the study also reveals that elite/professional runners had an increased risk of osteoarthritis. What exactly does this mean? It means that if you regularly run multiple times a week, and perhaps compete in the odd half-marathon, then you are reducing your risk of osteoarthritis in the knee and hip!
The runners at risk were those training for professional and international competitions, so for most people there’s no need to stress about too much running! Most individuals need to worry more about too much inactivity, or sitting around; so strap on a pair of shoes and go for a jog!
How Can Physiotherapy Help?
Physiotherapy can help you get your running on track by assessing how your joints and body is moving and helping to optimize it so you may keep, or begin, running! For example, if you are having joint pain preventing you from running, a Physiotherapist will help determine what is the issue and provide you with individualized treatment and exercise to help you return to running.
● Osteoarthritis is not a normal part of aging
● Recreational running reduces your risk for developing osteoarthritis in the knees
For additional assistance running pain-free and/or recovering from any aches, pains,
injuries, and movement problems book with Travis here:
or call 604-683-PAIN(7246)
Follow Travis on instagram @tamyott_Physiotherapy for videos of exercises and more!
Alentorn-Geli, E., Samuelsson, K., Musahl, V., Green, C. L., Bhandari, M., & Karlsson,
J. (2017). The Association of Recreational and Competitive Running With Hip and Knee
Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.journal of orthopaedic & sports
physical therapy, (0), 1-36.
Li, L. Osteoarthritis. (2017). UBC Department of Physical Therapy, Arthritis Research
Canada, Mary Pack Arthritis Program VGH.