Running is bad for your knees, right? Wrong!
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard someone say “well, I’ve got bad knees, I ran for years so you know they had all that pounding.”
Pete Egoscue has maintained for years that exercise does not damage properly positioned joints, but instead actually strengthens them. Now a study out of Stanford University says that Pete was exactly right:
Several studies have found that a lifetime of running—a perfect test for the “wear and tear” theory of osteoarthritis—doesn’t increase risk for the condition. In the most recent, published in 2008, researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine began tracking the health of 45 long-distance runners (average age: 58) in 1984. Nearly 20 years later, X-rays showed their joints were unaffected. “We can find no evidence whatsoever that there’s an increase in knee destruction in people who run for thousands and thousands of miles,” says study co-author James Fries, professor emeritus of immunology and rheumatology.
Folks, the body is designed for movement. If your knees hurt when you run (or play tennis or bike or garden) it’s not because the activity in which you’re engaging is intrinsically destructive to your knees. It’s because your knees are out of position! I heard Pete say “I have never seen osteoarthritis in a properly positioned, normally used joint” and I concur. When I see someone with an arthritic knee or hip, I’m also seeing a mispositioned knee or hip. EVERY time. I’ve never once had someone come to me with osteoarthritis in a knee or hip or a portion of their spine, then look at them and think “dang, their posture is great, I wonder why that’s happening.” Every time the answer is obvious, the affected joint is in a significantly compromised position.
If your body is posturally balanced, running will strengthen your joints, nourish your cartilage, increase bone density, along with a lot of other wonderful benefits. And if your body is out of postural balance, running will contribute to grinding your knees to dust. But the problem is not the run, it’s the posture you bring to the run. If you want to be able to keep doing what you love to do without grinding up your joints, give us a call and we’ll tell you how to get started.
meanwhile if you’d like to read the article that references the study above, here you go:
Now get out and get moving!
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