Osteoarthritis and Running

Debunking the myths

One would think that running, especially long-distance running, would cause an increase in risk for osteoarthritis (OA) later in life. This notion alone is enough to scare a lot of runners from continuing on with their running career. Research shows this is a myth.

MYTH #1: Running causes OA

Research shows that OA frequency in the running population and non-running population are equal. There is also no difference between the two groups in average cartilage thickness at the hips, knees or ankles. What this means is OA does not have a direct correlation with running, and neither does cartilage thickness.

MYTH #2: The longer distance you run, the more cartilage you will lose
There is indeed a reduction of cartilage volume of about 5-6% after running a 5K. But this volume is regained and returned to pre-run levels within 60 minutes of rest. Research also shows that there is no overall difference in cartilage volume changes between 5K, 10K and 20K runners. Most of this 5-6% volume change is due to dehydration from weight-bearing impact, but levels are regained after rest and rehydration.
What does the Doctor say?
Dr. Ryan Petering, family and sports medicine doctor of OHSU Gabriel Park, states that there is no consistent evidence that weight-bearing sports cause OA. The biggest risk factors for OA are: being inactive, obese, and previous knee pain. Some patients may have higher risks of OA because of previous meniscal tears. In such populations, pivoting sports such as soccer and tennis may increase incidence of OA – so be careful.
What does the Physical Therapists say?
Proper strengthening of surrounding muscles will improve control and attenuation of weight-bearing forces. Knee pain does not necessarily indicate OA in the knee – the pain may be caused by malalignment of the kneecap (common, also known as “patellofemoral pain syndrome”), or tendonitis, or other diagnoses. Proper evaluation by your Stride Strong physical therapist will allow for further insight into the cause of your knee pain.

By Alice Holland, DPT.
Alice’s Google + page.

Ana Lucia Pinheiro
Ana Lucia Pinheiro
02:18 20 Oct 17
This place is amazing. I am so happy I found Stride Strong PT. Alice pays attention to all of the details, she watches every single move I make, my posture, and the way I move through every exercise. She is very knowledgeable, she was able to pin-point the problems in my back and she has a plan to help me become stronger where I need. The place is brand new, huge, and has nice exercise machines. I tried a few physical therapists in the area, and Alice is TOP, second to none, and I feel super lucky to have found her. Highly recommended!!
Prashant Gupta
Prashant Gupta
01:00 02 Oct 17
Dr. Alice at Stride Strong is one of the best PTs I have come across. Her attention to detail and assessment of the root cause of injury is very good. She is excellent in evaluating pain patterns and giving a training schedule for a rehab & injury prevention, she is extremely knowledgeable. I would strongly recommend Stride Strong to anyone looking for PT. It is easily the best PT clinics in Hillsboro area.
steven zollin
steven zollin
20:57 14 Sep 17
Highly recommend Stride Strong Physical Therapy , Alice showed me proper form to assist in recovery with my shoulder and is very knowledgeable.
Lindsay Nied
Lindsay Nied
23:33 18 Dec 17
I recently had a massage from Joel at the Hillsboro location. He was able to work on an ongoing issue I have been experiencing with my back after a sports injury, and I left feeling so much better. The whole facility looked incredible, and everyone I met was friendly and welcoming. I would highly recommend Stride Strong for massage and physical therapy.
JoAnn Hatch
JoAnn Hatch
08:20 08 Nov 17
Dr. Sydney is by far the absolute best physical therapist I've worked with ever! Her expertise in designing highly effective and efficient exercise plans is beyond compare. I feel so much better as my strength and function increases. She comes up with the most brilliant and fun ideas to motivate. To my delight she even offered to come to my home in Vancouver and work with me on my own equipment including a Stott Pilates Reformer. Talk about going above and beyond! Couldn't be more grateful I found her!!!
Clare Perry
Clare Perry
21:58 23 Oct 17
A full hour of a dedicated PT professional's time without aides or techs? That's just one of the things that sets this clinic apart from others. Competent, professional, and amiable, Dr. Alice Holland and her team are the best in the area. While I generally see them at the Cedar Mill Clinic on Cornell, situational constraints took me to their new Hillsboro clinic today near Intel Jones Farm. Beautifully furnished, spacious with easy parking and access. May you continue to grow and thrive, Stride Strong!
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