There’s no question that jogging and running are some of the best exercises that we can do to stay healthy. But there could be some potential downfalls to running that could injure you long-term.
Everyone’s body will react to running differently, and that’s because we all have different running styles. Experts say that running can lead to arthritis in your knees, but it’s very uncommon. Some people are more susceptible than others, and much of it depends on genetics. There’s not really a scientific method to determine if you will develop knee pain when running, but in general, just use common sense and stop running or ask a professional if you feel knee discomfort or pain after running.
Causes of Knee Pain Due to Running
Our knees have a good amount of cartilage to protect them, but that cartilage can eventually wear down. Since our knees take such a beating every day, you will likely feel more pain there than you would in your ankles or hip joint. When the cartilage breaks down, you will basically have bone-to-bone contact, which doesn’t feel very good. It’s best to consult a medical professional once you feel pain for a period of time, since arthritis could be setting in.
But not everyone develops knee pain the same way, or at all. You’ve probably noticed that some people walk or run heavier than others because of their louder footsteps. The more force you put on the ground when you step, the more pressure gets put on your knees.
Also, heavier people are more susceptible to knee pain because of their weight. The knees take the brunt of the heavier weight, so that’s also a big factor in the development of knee pain.
Can You Prevent Knee Pain When Running?
If you have experienced knee pain when running, but still want to continue, you may want to see either a medical professional or an athletic trainer. You could be stepping incorrectly when you run, which causes pressure in the wrong areas of your knees. Getting a little guidance on the correct way to run could help ease the pain.
Once you experience some pain, try backing off a little bit to see if the pain improves. Instead of running with long strides, try jogging with shorter strides. The longer the strides you take, the more force you put on your knees. If you don’t experience any pain when jogging, then you may want to stick with a slower pace when you work out.
What to do When Feeling Pain
You basically need to listen to what your body is telling you. If you have healthy knees and are at a healthy weight, then you shouldn’t experience any knee pains when running. But if you do, then you need to address the problem before you injure yourself long-term.
If you try to be tough and fight through the pain, you will be doing more harm than good. People who are overweight, and are trying to lose weight, will realize that their knees hurt when they run. It can be extremely discouraging, especially since you’re making an effort to lose the weight. In cases like that, it’s best to take it slow and start a walking/jogging program. Once the pounds start coming off and you aren’t putting as much pressure on your knees, then you can try running again.
In a nutshell, running in general is not bad for your knees. Improper running or physical attributes could make running bad for them, though. As long as you aren’t fighting through knee pain when you run, then there’s no harm with continuing to do so.
Source: Live Science