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Maximize Your Mobility: Will Running Destroy Your Knees?

from Petoskey News-Review

The theory regular running can increase the presence of arthritis in the knee joints has been around for the past 30-40 years.

It has been a hotly debated topic and the subject of numerous research projects. While there is a lack of unanimous consensus among researchers, most evidence is pointing toward running being a knee-friendly activity for most people. There are a few populations which are at higher risk of developing arthritis.

What is arthritis?

There are two main types: osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis. For the purpose of this column, we’ll be sticking to osteoarthritis.

OA is the breakdown of the cartilage which coats the end of a bone; specifically, the tibia and femur in the case of the knee. Even though the cartilage is only a couple of millimeters thick, it is a very tough substance that can protect the bone underneath for decades.

From what we can tell, the rate at which cartilage breaks down is determined largely by genetics, at least for the most common types. Other factors such as weight, activity level, and history of infection or injury can also affect the development of arthritis. more

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