Knee pain will affect around 30% of the adult population at some point or another, and a large reason for this is running. Running is usually connected with knee pain because it can supposedly cause wear and tear on the knee, so the question of “does running cause knee problems?” comes up more often than you would think. Today, we will look at some research that answers all of your questions about their correlation.
In 2018, a study was published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine which reported that the most seen injuries in runners are 50 percent in the knee, 39 percent in the foot, and 32 percent in the leg.
Another small study took six healthy runners, ages 18-35 and looked at their blood and knee joint synovial fluid samples before a 30 minute run, after the run, and after a 30 minute rest. The inflammatory markers associated with osteoarthritis were surprisingly higher before the run took place, and lower in the two time frames after the run! This research concludes that running could possibly be protective against OA.
Since the study was small, the authors say they are planning to conduct the same study but with a larger amount of runners, and a longer time period after running (about a week) to really see how long the “protection” of the knee could last. Some critics of the study say that a 30 minute run is short compared to a marathon, where a study was done with that found cartilage changes that could be possible for injuries that lingered for up to three months after the marathon.
Another study compared data from recreational runners, competitive runners, and non-runners. This data discovered that recreational runners had a lower occurrence of OA than the runners in the other groups.
The last study that we’re going to look at compared 1,207 UK male soccer players and 4,085 men from the general population (all around age 60). The study concluded that the soccer players were twice as likely to have knee pain than that of general population males. About 28% of the soccer players vs 12% of non soccer players had radiographically diagnosed knee OA. Along with this, the soccer players were 3 times more likely to have received total knee replacement than the normal population!
In conclusion, short distance running on healthy knees is completely safe, and can maybe even help protect against OA. Intense, longer runs can possibly increase the risk for knee problems. When visiting the chiropractor, we will evaluate your whole body, because sometimes other areas may be putting strain on the knee.
If you have any questions on our treatment options in New York, please contact us, we would be happy to help you and see what we can do for you.
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