Running is the most popular form of exercise. It can be done whenever and wherever, alone or with company, without the use of expensive gear or special equipment. Many people believe that running can significantly reduce the risk of a heart disease, prevent obesity and diabetes, and strengthen muscles and bones construction. However, recently, this form of exercise has been gaining a bad reputation for causing knee injuries and increasing inflammation in joints. Is this true? Can running actually cause osteoarthritis?
And running, although perceived as an exercise that can overburden bones, muscles and joints, is actually a lot more beneficial than it is given credit for. According to a recent study, it not only doesn’t cause inflammation in the knee joint – it actually reduces it! Which means that, in the long run, regular running can protect you from degenerative diseases, including osteoarthritis. Specifically, according to Matt Seeley, PhD (Brigham Young University):
Matt Seeley, PhD (Brigham Young University) believes that “the notion of running having a bad influence on the knees is a myth. During his study he analyzed samples of fluid taken from the knee joints of healthy men and women, ages 18 to 35, both before and after a 30-minute run. Specifically, they measured the synovial fluid for two proteins (called GM-CSF and IL-15) that indicate the presence of harmful inflammation. They found that levels of both proteins went down after 30 minutes of running, suggesting a decrease in overall inflammation in the joint. To rule out other factors that may have contributed to the drop, the researchers also performed a “control” test, taking fluid samples before and after a 30-minute seated rest. During that test, protein levels did not change between samples1”.
It seems that running is here to stay, and rightfully so – it is a great exercise for people of all ages. What’s important is the necessity to run in proper shoes that will protect your legs from any injuries. If you’d like to take up on running but are unsure if your condition allows this sort of exercise, make sure to make an appointment with our Orthopedic Surgeon in Boca Raton who – after careful assessment – can determine whether running is something you can consider. Give us a call or request an appointment online – we look forward to seeing you soon.
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