Contrary to popular belief, running could actually be beneficial to knee health. According to a new study, recreational running does not have any link to the development of osteoarthritis, and may actually be beneficial to the knee joint.
Earlier studies which have pointed to an association between running and knee arthritis usually focused on professional male runners. However, according to researchers, their new study focused only on non-elite recreational runners. Based on an analysis of 2,683 participants, researchers found that the prevalence of knee pain was lower among runners as compared to non-runners. Among runners, the knee pain rate was 35%, as compared to 41% for those who did not run.
It may be too early to conclude that running has a direct effect on knee health, and therefore directly contributes to a reduced risk of osteoarthritis. Runners generally tend to be closer to their ideal weight and fitter, and are also likely to follow a healthier lifestyle compared to non-runners. These may also be reasons for the reduced occurrence of osteoarthritis.