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Things to Know About Running and Your Knees

Let's face it, running is a convenient form of exercise and can make you high. The only downside, I seem to experience is the occasional aching knee.

I take care of this important joint by strengthening my quads and rolling out my ITB. I do find it heartening that many studies have found that running doesn't contribute to osteoarthritis in the knee joint. Many of the studies on avid runners, weekend warriors and non-runners found that running did not increase the risk of developing arthritis. While little aches do creep up every now and then, the benefits of running seem to outweigh the pain.

Speaking of weight, it is true that every extra pound you carry on your frame creates an extra four pounds of stress on the knee. Running to stay in shape and keep off weight helps your knees, which in turn will keep you running. So get out there, and don't pound the pavement, run softly on the trail and enjoy your strong legs and healthy knees.


Join The Conversation
bindi1 bindi1 9 years
does running on a treadmill damage your knees?
Spectra Spectra 9 years
One of my biggest pet peeves is people that tell me "You're going to need new knees by the time you're 30" when I tell them I run. Runners actually have fewer knee problems than sedentary people when they get older, so I don't know where that myth developed. I would suggest not running if you already have a preexisting knee problem could make it worse. blondie---I don't know what the general recommendation is, but when I wanted to start running at 160ish pounds, my doctor told me to take it easy until I got down to 140 or so to prevent injuries.
bettywhite bettywhite 9 years
anyone know where to get a foam roller? and what about the other joints - namely, hip and ankle? i've been getting more pain in those spots than in my knees in the last few weeks (i'm running to train for a marathon in november). thanks!
blondie829 blondie829 9 years
If you have a lot of weight to lose, is it best to not jog/run until you have lost a significant amount of weight? My father wants to get started on a weight loss plan, but he is so heavy, I don't want him to injure himself... anyone have advice on this??
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
I just finished rolling out ITB with my massage stick. Oh man, pain never felt so good!
nals33 nals33 9 years
I looove running!! (This week, I haven't ran enough though. :( ) My sister started running too about two weeks ago. We run on the treadmill..running in the downtown area would frustrate me with all the crosswalks that we'd have to wait at.. I make sure to stretch everything really well right after I run. The last thing I want is to inflame/irritate my Baker's Cyst.. which means that Quad machines at the gym are out of the question for me. Instead, I was told to do wall-sits..which I'm learning to love as well. :P But it's definitely true, stronger quads means happy knees. :)
sgrbby32 sgrbby32 9 years
Further evidence that running isn't all that bad for you! Building the quads and stretching out that ITB is muy importante!
cmd0610 cmd0610 9 years
Wow this is really good to know- I get achy a lot in my ankles and I always joke that I'm going to have terrible arthritis . . luckily I haven't had much knee aching- only about mile 9 on a >12 miles run . . . but like Tidal said running on a trail helps or just stopping to walk for a few minutes and stretch out my achy knee.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
Try to avoid cement, namely sidewalks. Even asphalt on the road is better for your joints than cement; the latter does not give (hence why cars don't drive on it) making it an extremely hard surface. In general, running on a trail (gravel/packed dirt) is the best surface!
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