Running is a great form of cardiovascular exercise and great way to maintain physical fitness levels. There are some who are concerned that running causes arthritis, particularly in the hips and knees. A systematic review of 25 studies, covering 125k people found that “recreational” runners (<57miles/wk) had a lower frequency of arthritis, 3.5%, compared to “non-runners” @ 10.2%. Interestingly, “competitive” runners, (>57miles/wk) had a 13.3% chance of developing arthritis.
Over-training can overload joints and not allow cartilage or soft tissue time to repair or recover from physical activity. Impact exercises slightly deform cartilage in weight-bearing joints, and this requires time to rebound to original form and homeostatic environment. While over-training can lead to increased risk of arthritis, the physical benefits far outweigh the risk; weight, cholesterol, depression, and stress to name a few.
So when someone tells you that they don’t run cause “running causes arthritis” you can be confident in disproving that myth.
J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2017;47(6):391. doi:10.2519/jospt.2017.0505