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5 myths about exercise and knee pain

Every runner, whether amateur or professional, has heard the phrase ‘running destroys knees’ from caring acquaintances. In one variation or another. It’s not envy or spite. Rather, it’s more likely that people really do care about your health. They just don’t have enough information. In this article, we’ve compiled 5 myths about exercise and knee pain.

Running promotes arthritis

Scientists at the US National Center for Biotechnology Information conducted an 18-year study observing the health of a group of runners and a similar group of non-runners. The study found that 20% of the athletes showed signs of arthritis. In the second group, the figure was 32%. Thus, it can be argued that running in no way contributes to arthritis, and even on the contrary, prevents it. 

Running accelerates cartilage aging

Doctors claim that as we age, cartilage tissue deteriorates and causes our bones to become brittle. This is particularly true of knees. There is a myth that the more one uses one’s lower limbs, the faster this process will occur. Well, perhaps this fact does not apply to Fauj Singh, a 104-year-old marathon runner who has run all his life and is still in great shape today, participating in competitions.

Nutritional supplements for athletes restore cartilage tissue

Some supplements, such as glucosamine, act to protect knee joints by lubricating articular cartilage. But despite the glaring advertising slogans, there is no single supplement that does exactly the job of repairing it. Researchers conducted a two-year study, observing the knee joint health of two groups of runners. The first took vitamin D supplements, the others did not. The degree of cartilage depletion and pain levels due to arthritis were similar in both cases.

Obese people should not run because there is too much stress on the knees

It’s true that every extra kilo of weight, when exerted, is felt by your knees as four. But it’s not just when you’re running. Any effort, even normal walking, can cause various, sometimes irreversible processes in the knee joint. So run to lose weight and get your body in balance. It is advisable to distribute the weight on the front of the foot so that the load is on the ankle, not the knee.

Runner’s knee

This condition is caused by inflammation of the cartilage under the kneecap. It can be caused by:

  • flatfoot, which causes the shin to twist too much to the inside while running;
  • irregular training (e.g. only on weekends);
  • incorrect or no warm-up before running;
  • O-shaped stance of the feet.