Running Does Is Not A Risk Factor For Osteoarthritis, Study Shows

In Education

Regular running has been blamed for causing joint damage and osteoarthritis in older adults. However, the connection between running and arthritis is more complicated than assumed. For example, it’s unclear whether running damages joints or if arthritis develops first and becomes more noticeable during running. Additionally, genetics may play a role in determining whether or not a runner is susceptible to developing arthritis earlier.

There is inconclusive evidence about the correlation between arthritis and running

Studies conducted over several decades have investigated the relationship between running and arthritis. While the answers are unclear, evidence suggests that running does not cause osteoarthritis or any other joint disease. In addition, several studies have found lower hip and knee osteoarthritis rates in recreational runners than in competitive and non-runners.

Further studies have found that the rate of hip or knee arthritis among marathon runners is lower than expected in the general population, and an analysis of 24 studies in 2022 found no evidence of significant harm to the cartilage lining the knee joints from running. So overall, research suggests that running may not cause arthritis or be protective.

Arthritis effects differ between individuals

Osteoarthritis research takes a long time, and ideal studies are impossible. The most powerful research study is double-blind, randomized, controlled trials, but they cannot be conducted when the treatment is ongoing.In addition, confoundingg factors, such as differences between runners and non-runners, can affect the results and make them difficult to interpret. Finally, running’s effects on arthritis may differ between individuals, and people with obesity who run regularly may be at increased risk of arthritis due to the stress of excess weight on the joints.

According to recent studies, there is a growing consensus that running does not cause joint damage. This should be comforting news for running enthusiasts. However, if running isn’t your cup of tea, that’s alright too. You can explore other types of physical activity that appeal to you. But don’t let the misconception that running harms your joints determine your decision to avoid it.

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