Is Running Actually Bad for Your Knees?

Fox News—December 4, 2014

The most common running injuries hit the knees. But running isn't to blame.

"Running gets a bad rap, but running can strengthen the knee, and those who run throughout their lives have stronger knees than those who don't," according to physical therapist Michael Silverman, P.T., M.S.P.T., coordinator of the Tisch Performance Center at Hospital for Special Surgery.

In fact, the largest study of runners ever completed, which was recently published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, concluded that running does not increase the risk of osteoarthritis (cartilage breakdown), even in marathoners. And, get this: Runners had half the incidence of knee osteoarthritis compared to walkers.

"With common faulty biomechanics, you can end up overloading the inside of the knee, making you more prone to meniscus tears," Silverman says. "Or if you are weak in the hips, your muscle imbalance forces the leg to pull in during mid-stance. Your IT band has to work more then to try to pull the knee back to where it should be, and it gets tight."

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