Did you know that knee pain will affect 30 percent of the entire adult population at one point or another? Running is often correlated with knee pain because it can cause wear and tear on the knee, so the question of “does running accelerate knee problems?” often comes up. Today, we will be looking at some research that answers all of your burning questions.
In 2018, a study was published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine that reported that the most seen injuries in runners are 50 percent the knee, 39 percent the foot, and 32 percent the leg.
A smaller study was conducted that looked at six healthy runners with ages ranging from 18-35. The researchers looked at blood and knee joint synovial fluid samples before a 30 minute run, after the run, and after a 30 minute rest. Surprisingly, the inflammatory markers associated with osteoarthritis were higher before the run took place, and lower in the two time frames following after. This research suggests that running could potentially be protective against OA.
Because the study was so small, the authors say they plan to conduct the same study but with more runners, and a longer time period after running to see how long the “protection” lasts. Some critics say that a 30 minute run is short compared to a marathon or half marathon. A study was done with marathon runners that found cartilage changes that may suggest the possibility for injuries that lingered for up to three months after the marathon.
A separate study looked at data that compared recreational runners, competitive runners, and non-runners that found that recreational runners had a lower occurrence of OA than the other groups.
One final study compared 1,207 UK male soccer players vs 4,085 men from the general population (around age 60). The study showed that soccer players were twice as likely to have knee pain than the general population males. About 28 percent of the soccer players vc 12 percent of non soccer players that radiographically diagnosed knee OA. The soccer players were three times more likely to have received total knee replacement.
So looking at all these studies concludes that short distance running on healthy knees is completely safe, and can maybe even help protect against OA. More intense, long runs can definitely increase the risk for knee problems. When visiting the chiropractor, we will evaluate your entire body, because sometimes ankle and hip problems may be placing strain on the knee.
If you have any questions on our treatment options in Springfield, please contact us, we would be happy to help you and see what we can do for you.
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