pedestrian crossingResearchers have extensively studied the relation between running and arthritis of knees to conclude that running regularly may not increase the risk of osteoarthritis. In fact, running can prevent arthritis of the knee in runners.

This study contained data from 2600 people who used to perform some form of physical activity in their life. The age groups were divided into 12-18, 19-34, 35-49 and 50 or older. 29 % of the people were runners at some point of time in their lives.

Though some runners had knee pain, it was comparatively lower in intensity than the knee pain experienced by non-runners. The most important fact that emerged in the study was that runners could prevent arthritis of the knee if they ran regularly. It was concluded that running does not increase the risk of arthritis and so running should be encouraged.

Dr. Grace Hsiao-Wei Lo from the Baylor College of Medicine, said in an American College of Rheumatology conference that this study did not determine whether patients with a previous history of arthritis should run or should avoid running. Dr. Grace added that people who do not have any complaints should not avoid running in any circumstances. They should rather perform physical activities and exercise in order to improve the health of their knees and bodies.

The research comes forth with heartening news for all athletes, endurance runners, running enthusiasts and marathoners. A lower risk of arthritis should boost the morale of not just the elderly but also the young. Both groups can take up light jogging or running as a regular form of exercise to maintain body weight, stamina and overall cardiovascular and bone health.

Contributed by Dr. Rachita Narsaria, MD


The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases has more about osteoarthritis.