Running is a popular activity enjoyed by numerous people across the globe. Unfortunately, running is not without its drawbacks, as it often blamed for knee joint inflammation and soreness. However, a recent report from Brigham Young University (BYU) suggests that this criticism might be unwarranted.
What the Molecules Say
The BYU team’s findings were based on an examination a small group of men and women. These volunteers were between the ages of 18 and 35, and all were considered to be in good health. Each participant was required to run for a period of 30 minutes.
Samples of knee fluid were extracted from the subjects before and after this running period. The BYU researchers examined these samples for inflammation-causing molecules. What they found surprised them – there were fewer of these troublesome molecules in the post-running samples than in the pre-running extractions. The authors repeated with experiment with a “non-running condition, “and reported that the before-and-after inflammatory molecule readings did not change.
Long Distance Running and Long-Term Health
In summarizing the study’s conclusion, coauthor Matt Seeley did not mince words. “It flies in the face of intuition. This idea that long-distance running is bad for your knees might be a myth,” stated the BYU professor in a university press release. Seeley further noted that the report “does not indicate that distance runners are any more likely to get osteoarthritis than any other person.”
In fact, the BYU team contends that, among young individuals in good health, running might have a positive impact on joint health. Specifically, this kind of exercise might shield knee joints from the onset of osteoarthritis.
The authors intend to continue to study this topic. The team plans to conduct similar research on subjects who have suffered ACL tears and other serious knee injuries.