Does running cause arthritis

Well No, Yes, Maybe.

Sounds a bit weird but depends on how much you do. Read on for clarification.

Spring is here, it’s getting warmer and the sun is up earlier and many of us are starting out on the “get fit before summer” campaign. I noted this recent study and thought it was timely to share.

Running is a great form of exercise and can help with weight loss, lower cholesterol levels, boost the immune system, fight depression and improve stress. Wow sounds great but many people are worried about whether running leads to arthritis in the long term.

How Much Running is Too Much?

A recent study on running and osteoarthritis was published in the prestigious Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy (ref see below). The researchers looked at 17 studies with a combined total of 114 829 people (both male and female).

What they found was interesting.

Non runners, those that were sedentary and did not run, had a higher rate of knee and hip arthritis of 10.2%

Researchers found that recreational runners had only a 3.5% rate of arthritis.

Elite runners, who participated at international level, had the highest rate of arthritis at 13.3%.

So, what does this mean?

Basically, if you are a recreational runner, the health benefits of running outweigh the risks of developing arthritis.

If you are sedentary, then you are more at risk of developing hip or knee arthritis.

If you are at the professional runner level with higher frequency or distances per week (up to 92 kms) then you have the most risk of developing arthritis.

So, it is safe to run at recreational levels and not wear out your joints.

Reference: Alerton-Geli et al, “The Association of Recreational and Competitive Running with Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis” J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2017;47(6):373-390.

But Before You Start that “Get Fit For Summer” Exercise Programme

Before you start running, remember that the biggest factor of developing an injury with running is having a previous injury. Make sure you have that niggle sorted by one of our fabulous Physiotherapists today before embarking on the “get fit before summer campaign”

Call 1300 291 133 today.

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