• WD

Running With Arthritis: Is it bad for your body?

Updated: Jan 17

The accusations have been thrown around for many decades; runners are a unique breed.

You are, admit it.

Unlike a lot of other athletes, runners don't have any reservations about telling you what they enjoy doing (running) and how they plan on continuing to run despite any and all bodily injuries that may be going on.

Running is an endurance sport and like all sports/athletic endeavors you’re likely to experience minor injuries. Often these minor injuries are ignored or patched up so that running may continue. It becomes a game of "stroke the symptoms" (treat the symptoms) which often entails massage, cupping, stretching, KT taping, etc. to "splint" a problematic area through a race or PR run without the source every being determined or resolved.

Now to clarify, this flawed treatment style is not just a runner's preference, most clients would prefer that someone work ON them (passive treatment) because it feels good!

Passive treatments are a good method of decreasing symptoms but if the overall treatment plan isn't working towards resolving the SOURCE of symptoms by getting stronger, more flexible, more mobile, etc. (active treatment) you're missing out on the more important, long term results creating stuff.

I think this is where the reputation of “running is bad for your joints” comes from.

  1. Long term games of "stroke the symptoms" take place

  2. Sources and symptoms are never resolved

  3. Pain persists

  4. Let's blame the running!

It's easier to blame the activity rather than identify and explain tissue limitations.

Unfortunately, even in discussions among healthcare providers (who should know better), running is often referred to as a high impact means of shaving life off of your joints.

So is it really that bad?