Spring is in bloom and the weather is finally warming up. What better time is there than now to get out in the sun, shed those extra pounds, and go for a run? But is running the right exercise for you? There is a notion that the constant pounding of pavement is damaging to your joints. Every step you take while running places 8 times your body weight to a runner’s knee, an average of 1,200 lbs. every step! It would seem that this repetitive force would lead to meniscus tears, ligament damage, and osteoarthritis. However, most research shows just the opposite. Research conducted by Stanford University tracked over 1000 knees of runners and non-runners over a period of 20 years, and showed no increase risk of developing knee problems in runners, including arthritis. Running appears to be a healthy exercise for maintaining joint health. However, if you develop any pain while running, or have pre-existing knee pain, you should seek the attention of your physical therapist to resolve your issue and get back to running!
Written By: Maryann Mancini, DPT, Director of the Burlington Advanced Physical Therapy office