Is running really bad for you?

There is a bit of a myth about whether running is bad for you.

If your joint is healthy and has never had an injury before then, provided you are fit and strong enough, running is good for you. All joints work better when they are being used. The shock absorbing lining of the joint receives nutrients as a consequence of the compression and relaxation effect of any weight-bearing activity.

Running and the knee

If your knee joint has had an injury however, then you just need to be a little more careful. It would appear that the type and volume of impact work that you do following any injury to a knee such as damage to your meniscus or to the lining of the joint can have an adverse impact. Having said that, there is a world of difference between running in properly fitted shoes on a treadmill for ten minutes at a time, right through to the opposite extreme when you play eighty minutes of football or rugby on a hard pitch. There is no question the latter is far more stressful for your joints than the former.

In other words, subject to the support of your treating physiotherapist or orthopaedic knee surgeon, running can still be helpful at keeping your muscles strong and your weight controlled. Both of these effects may far outweigh any potential for aggravating your injury.

An injury doesn’t always mean the end of your running career! If you have suffered a knee injury that is impacting on your ability to exercise or play sport, then book a consultation at Mr Jonathan Webb’s Bristol or London clinics.