Love to Run? Here's What you Need to Know about Knees!
"Running will wreck your knees!" If hitting the pavement on a cold winter morning sounds like your version of Heaven on Earth, this is the kind of sentiment that you may scoff at. In the back of your mind, though, you may have caught yourself feeling a little more than a little unnerved by the warning. Could running eventually ruin your chances for an active lifestyle?
The truth is, it's not a given. It's also a possibility. Let's look at what the science says.
1.Those who don't run are just as likely to get arthritic knees than those who do. In fact, one long-term study suggests that fewer runners may develop osteoarthritis in the knees than their non-running counterparts. Another study demonstrated a higher instance of knee arthritis for avid walkers than for runner.
2.Age has no bearing on knees and arthritis for runners. Cartilage loss has historically been linked to the aging process. There is no evidence that points to running as a risk in accelerated degeneration of the cartilage in the knee. More than one study has indicated that at-risk individuals could actually benefit from a moderate running routine.
3.Knee issues may actually originate someplace else. The condition referred to as runner's knee, or chondromalacia patella, involves the cartilage that lies beneath the kneecap. Many in the field of sports medicine now believe that the inflammation that occurs here is the result of poor biomechanics. If there is weakness in the glutes or hips, this instability continues down the quads, causing tracking difficulty at the kneecap.
4.Knee cartilage cannot be increase with supplements. Some dietary supplements have been thought to increase, or re-grow cartilage. Studies have indicated that glucosamine can have a protective effect on the articular cartilage, but this does not mean that quantity actually increases with supplementation.
5.It's possible to keep your knees happy and enjoy your running activities. One of the simplest ways to minimize your risk of knee injury is to stay strong in the areas that directly affect the knees, such as the hips and glutes. Also, keep torque low by running on flat surfaces whenever possible, versus uneven ground. Finally, change your foot-strike to the forefoot rather than the rear. This limits the amount of force the knees have to absorb.
We are happy to answer questions you may have about knee or hip injuries. Call Hartzband Center for Hip & Knee Replacement at 201-291-4040.