Is Running Bad for Your Joints?

Running for your joints

Is running bad for your joints? Is running bad for your knees? For years, conventional wisdom has claimed that running, as a high-impact exercise, is bad for your joints, period. Full stop. In recent years, however, a growing body of evidence has begun to challenge that claim -- and though people with joint problems should still approach the sport with proper caution, doctors and medical organizations are reevaluating their stance. Here are the details:

Running and Inflammation

A recent study conducted by the Department of Exercise Sciences at Brigham Young University, in conjunction with Utah Valley Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, aimed to measure the concentration of a pro-inflammatory molecule called cytokine in the knees of runners versus non-runners. The expectation was for runners to show more susceptibility to inflammation -- but the reality was quite the opposite. Runners in this study had consistently lower concentrations of inflammation-causing material. And this understandably caused waves in the medical and scientific communities.

Running while Injured

Though the Brigham Young study is certainly a positive sign for runners and for people who suffer inflammation everywhere, there is one important caveat that must be mentioned. The people participating in the study were all completely healthy and relatively young. So even though regular runners can safely hope that their physical activity is protecting them from injury, there is no reason to believe that people suffering from acute or chronic injuries stand to benefit from pushing themselves to run.

Balancing the Pros and Cons

Those who do run -- especially those who have suffered an injury in the past -- should take careful measures to reduce their risk of aggravating their joints. This can allow them to get the “best of both worlds,” reaping the anti-inflammatory benefits of exercise while minimizing any potential downside. This is one reason why we highly recommend Run Forever Sports compression running gear. Here's a great example.

Run Forever Sports Knee Compression Sleeve

Run Forever Sports Knee Compression Sleeve

Knee compression sleeves will help reduce pain, increase circulation, improve joint stability and support, and speed up recovery. It features precise sizing for focused compression, muscle control, stability, and comfort, and it won’t cut off circulation or restrict motion.

Our knee compression sleeve is just one of the many helpful running products you'll find right here at Run Forever Sports! Our products will help you with shin splints, plantar fasciitis, joint pain and more!