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  • Writer's pictureRestorative Therapy Co.

Is Running Bad For Your Knees?

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

You may have heard that running is bad for your knees or causes arthritis but research has shown that is not the case! In a study of 3,800 marathon runners, running history was not linked to the development of hip or knee arthritis. The risk factors for arthritis were the same as for non-runners: advancing age, family history of arthritis, previous injuries or knee surgery, and higher body mass index (BMI).

Running with proper form and appropriate footwear is actually great exercise. In fact, regularly running might decrease your risk of arthritis later in life. The compression that occurs in your knees as you run brings more fluid to the joints to keep them lubricated. At every age, running can benefit your joints and your overall health. And the impact when you run can improve bone density to prevent osteoporosis and osteopenia.

But this doesn’t mean that runners never suffer knee pain. There are a number of other factors affecting your knees while you run. Core strength and mobility impact your running posture. Having weak hips or thigh muscles may make you more likely to suffer a knee injury. Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), or runner’s knee, is the most common type of knee injury that runners face and typically causes pain at the front of your knee. The pain may get worse when you run on inclined surfaces or stairs. If you notice knee pain, stop running and see your physical therapist for an evaluation. It’s tempting to push through the pain, but ignoring an injury only makes it worse. At RTC, your physical therapist will give you personalized treatment recommendations to help you get back to running with less pain.

At Restorative Therapy Co we want to help you Feel Well and Be Well! Call today to schedule a PT appointment 757-578-2958 and take care of those small aches and pains before they become bigger problems! Be sure to check out the Studio schedule to sign up for Yoga and PhysioFit classes at or on the MindBody app.

Contributed By Dr. Tara Pandiscia, PT, DPT

Geriatric Clinical Specialist at Restorative Therapy Co

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