Running won't damage your knees?

Posted , 10 users are following.

This is an interesting one!  Has anyone else seen in the newspaper today that experts say 'running won't damage the knees'?  And there is no link between running and osteoarthritis.  But runners place 8 times their bodyweight on each step.  They reckon this might strengthen cartilage. I'm trying to get my head round this, when it's reckoned that more obese people get osteoarthritis - I'm struggling to see the logic here, how running can strengthen cartilage but obesity wears it away.  Any thoughts?

0 likes, 40 replies

Report / Delete

40 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Just found this: A study published in 2005 in “Arthritis & Rheumatism” found that moderate exercise may improve the quality of cartilage in individuals at high risk for developing osteoarthritis. The researchers discovered that participants who engaged in moderate exercise three times a week for one hour experienced an increase in the glycosaminoglycan content of cartilage as well as an increase in level of activity. Glycosaminoglycan is a carbohydrate found in cartilage that contributes to its elastic and cushioning properties. This suggests that cartilage may respond to exercise the same way as muscle and bone.  But some say it does help and other articles say the opposite LOL!  Still don't really understand WHY pounding on a joint will improve cartilage but walking on it if you're heavier (obese) will wear it away.  Ready to be informed!

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Chris,

      Interesting point you bring up. I know weight bearing exercises promote bone strength (and muscles,tendons) so maybe they finally could look at cartilage too... Running has never been considered a "moderate" exercise, however. Activity encourages lubrication of the joints but the high impact does wear down parts too. It interesting, in 30 years I've never seen a GROSSLY overweight person w knee surgery ie 400+lbs (200kg). But ive seen plenty 150-250lbs. Genetics playing the bigger role rt arthritis.

      Cartilage, like our spacers in our replacements, are made of softer material. It'll wear no matter what we do but wear slower if we don't pound it to a pulp!

      I've heard of all kinds of #s. Like: When your run u place 3000lbs per square INCH on your feet. For every pound over weight you are you transfer an exponential increase onto ur knees (articles have varied from5-20lbs,so who knows for sure lol) . Walking is a 1:1.5 ratio onto ur knees w force but going up stairs is 1:3-4 while going down is as much as 6x! (Your body weight!) So imagine a 200lb person is applying up to 1200lbs on their knees going down stairs!

      We wonder why knee surgery is insane!!! And takes so long to recover...

      Regardless of the numbers, we KNOW its MORE, so we all act accordingly to preserve our function. My PT guy has shown me that the stronger my muscles are, the more weight is dispersed over the knees and exercises are easier. Ie, when my butt muscles got stronger, this is why stairs are possible now.

      I love your questions Chris! They remind me how we need to keep level heads cuz the "experts" change their minds w every new study like martinavelo pointed out!

      :D

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      LOL! - sometimes I do wonder if I'm driving people nuts with my questions etc. LOL!

      But yes, that's RIGHT - views change like fashion.  You just have to research as much as you can and then do what makes sense to you:-))))  Sometimes it is really confusing and I have changed my views on some things after researching more, and there is that feeling of fumbling through, but I guess that's life!

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    No must look for that. There's a lot ideas surrounding cycling building up the cartilage.Not sure if the mechanism but guess running could do the same. Not however with a prosthesis of course.

    Research is continually contradicting research but have to know if valid or significant. Which paper was it in?

    You are a mine of info Chris 😊😊

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      It was in the mail today-))))  Just reading - there are so many conflicting views on it.  Some say since there is no blood supply to cartilage how can it strengthen, but others say it can.  I haven't yet found any actual studies but might have a look this afternoon, just out of interest, even though neither of my knees will have any cartilage soon (because they'll both be TKR's).  It's fascinating though:-)))

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Obesity is constant and will impact on mobility e.g. stairs and getting out of a chair. It's a constant load. I'm still not convinced 're running as it's high impact.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      And there is a condition called 'runners knee' where cartilage is prematurely worn out!  Like most health articles in newspapers, there is totally conflicting information online LOL!  Just gives something to think about though:-)))  I remember something similar on osteoporosis - someone who is underweight can be more likely to get it because the bones aren't carrying enough weight, but then someone who is overweight can also be likely to get it...... LOL!  You pays your money and you takes your chance LOL!

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    No must look for that. There's a lot ideas surrounding cycling building up the cartilage.Not sure if the mechanism but guess running could do the same. Not however with a prosthesis of course.

    Research is continually contradicting research but have to know if valid or significant. Which paper was it in?

    You are a mine of info Chris 😊😊

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Interesting.  I am remembering however, how experts told us BSE could not be contracted by eating beef, margarine was better for us than butter, we should not eat more than 2 eggs a week, lowering your cholesterol either is or isn't good for you, children should not eat peanuts before they are three years old. . .All this information came from experts!  these days, I weigh what they say with care.  It certainly sounds illogical that excess weight bearing destroy carilage, but impact weight bearing strengthens it. 

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Yes, you're so right - the 'experts' come up with such conflicting information!  I think at the end of the day, we can only read everything and then make our own decision on what makes sense to us.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    You have to read the article.  They say that they haven't found a link between running and osteoarthritis...not knee "damage" as there are other conditions that can occur including the trauma of ripped tendons and cartilage.  Can running prevent osteoarthritis?  Possibly but not guaranteed as we're all different.  However...

    Define "running".  For people who do it for exercise, I imagine that there are great health benefits, especially cardiovascular.  But "hard core" runners that train for competitions are another story.  IMHO, that kind of pounding crosses a line and puts your knees in a lot of jeopardy.  But, again, where's the "line" and isn't the "line" different for everyone?  We can't see inside our knees and know in advance when we'll push them too far.

    But all of this is completely moot for us with TKRs as running is definitely a non-recommended, if not banned, activity.  When I had my hip replaced in '09, the surgeon couldn't explain why 30% of my hip was necrotic (dead).  I had none of the typical criteria.  Two weeks after the surgery, I asked him when I could resume playing hockey which I had been doing for 45 years...and the light bulb illuminated above his head.  (Really did...I saw it!!!)  He told me that if I went back to the sport, my hip would last about 3 years; if I gave it up, I'd never need a second one.  

    Lesson:  Make your choice...run at your own peril.  There was a guy on here a while back who said that he resumed mountain climbing 13 weeks post-op.  Haven't heard from him again...we just wonder if..................

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I get concerned about how much damage marathon runners are doing to their bodies Robin.  Not just their knees, but their hearts too!  I think anyone running needs to look up the pros and cons and then make their decision based on information available.  It's like exercise after TKR - we read everything we can and then decide what's best for us.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I've always gone on the theory that the 1st time I see one of those people with a big smile on their face while running, that's when I would think about taking up the sport. I played at and the definitive word here is "at", every sport that had a ball involved with the exception of soccer. I would have probably tried that except it wasn't part of the landscape when I grew up. Track was the one thing I avoided until late in life when I tried to get into the jogging fad. That didn't last. I never had any knee trouble till this damn tumor blew up and nothing but pain and problems since.

      I once had an orthopedic surgeon tell me the running fad was the goose that laid the golden egg to his profession and then soccer became popular and that made jogging look pale in comparison. He always laughed at the mothers who didn't want little johnny playing football so she let him play soccer. That increased his income dramatically. Of course things have changed some as the brain injury /concussion situation has surfaced and that may kill football as we know it today.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Loads of laughter at that LOL!

      Yes, on a serious note, the brain damage is only just being known about in the UK, on a general basis, with heading a ball.  My goodness, it's taken them long enough to realise!!!!!

      I hope your problems will settle down at some point before too long!

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up