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Optimum Performance: A Surprising Paradox Between Running and Walking

from The Times-Picayune

Why don't most runners get knee osteoarthritis? This question was posed in a research paper, which appears in the March issue of Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise — the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.

"Most studies on humans have concluded that long-distance running is not associated with an increased risk of knee osteoarthritis. This is not to say that runners are less at risk for knee osteoarthritis compared with non-runners. However, they do not appear to be at greater risk," noted the research.

Osteoarthritis, according to the Mayo Clinic, "is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people around the world. Often called wear-and-tear arthritis, osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time. While osteoarthritis can damage any joint in your body, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, neck, lower back, knees and hips."

It appears that chronic high knee loads (between surfaces within the knee) are suspected to a play a role in the initiation and development of knee osteoarthritis. Here is where the paradox between walking and running takes hold. more

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