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The Knee truth

“Running will blow out your knees!” How many times have you heard that? As adult runners, we hear it on a daily basis. Luckily, there’s tons of research to prove just the opposite and tips to help prevent knee pain.  Children who participate in athletics actually get a proverbial ‘leg-up’ on the competition by starting early! Here are a few more facts about running and the effects on knees!

  1. Older, long term, adult runners, do not have a greater tendency to have arthritis of the knee than non-runners.  Studies across the board have suggested the over the long term, both runners and non-runners who are susceptible to knee arthritis will have arthritic tendencies, but only about 20% of runners reported joint damage, while 32% of non-runners reported arthritis.
  2. There’s no evidence that running will running will prematurely cause cartilage damage, actually, quite the opposite.  Long term runners tend to have stronger knee cartilage than sedentary or semi-sedentary individuals.
  3. Common injuries like ‘runner’s knee’ (knee soreness in a specific area, rather than total joint pain) is not necessarily knee related, but total body mechanic related.  By teaching children about running technique early, they can learn the proper techniques and not develop poor form habits which can lead to various types of joint issues. 
  4. Diet can play a huge role in knee health.  Foods that are high in potassium like bananas, and vitamin D like fatty fish (tuna, and salmon), eggs are especially important in the production of the body chemicals that lubricate joints.  Add in a little sunlight and you are good to go!