Questions and Answers
Q: Does running increase a person's
chances for premature development of osteoarthritis?
Some of the factors known to affect the degeneration
of cartilage in the joints are: increasing age, body
build, injury, infection, obesity and metabolic disorders.
Although research continues, studies have shown that
running or jogging as an isolated activity, does not
in itself cause osteoarthritis. For example, one study
compared a group of runners who ran 25 miles per week
with a group of non-runners. There was no difference
in cartilage thickness, spur formation or joint stability.
Because joints are designed for motion and shock absorption,
running on appropriate surfaces appears to be safe.
Of course, research has focused on runners with non-injured
joints. Those who have had joint injuries, or have
any of the other risk factors mentioned previously
should consult a professional before beginning a jogging
or running program.
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