The knee, as it pertains to runners, has been an important part of scientific exploration for decades. Although medical research indicates that running is most likely NOT to be the cause of knee arthritis, it has yet to be proven through valid scientific study. The following article, while not official research, is a well written summary, using scientific facts to explain knee cartilage as it reacts/behaves in runners. Osteoarthritis, also known as OA or degenerative arthritis, is a GENETIC condition which can occur in those predisposed, regardless of participation in high risk activity or injury. Another factor in the development and progression of OA, is the patient’s WEIGHT, as forces across the knee joint can be 4 to 10 times body weight while walking, climbing stairs and other movement. Excess weight or obesity will cause more pain in arthritic knees. Studies in the past using metabolic MRI, which can measure cartilage cell metabolism, have shown that after a SINGLE marathon, knee joint cartilage can be abnormal for up to 6 months. The investigations indicated that the damage from running may be cumulative and lead to OA. However, as the article below explains, cartilage DOES seem to revert back to normal after time and, therefore, recovery and adaptation need to be considered.
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