Why running won’t wreck your joints, by Hemel physio

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Physiotherapist Glen Robbins, of the Hemel Running Clinic, shares the latest research on running and arthritis.

Despite conventional wisdom, a recent study suggests that people who run regularly have a lower rate of hip and knee arthritis than those who don’t.

The US research looked at hip and knee arthritis rates in 675 runners, all of whom had run a minimum of five marathons and had run an average of 36 miles per week over nearly 20 years.

The arthritis rate in the group of runners was just 8.9 per cent, whereas in non-runners of a similar age the rate is reported at 17.9 per cent.

This is not the first study to find lower rates of arthritis in runners than the general population.

One suggested reason for this is that exercise has an anti-inflammatory effect that can counter the progression of arthritis. Another is that runners generally have lower BMIs, a factor that has been linked particularly with knee problems.

Whatever the reasons, people thinking of training for a marathon or taking up running should not be put off by the fear of ruining their hips or knees.

Running is a great way to improve your health and fitness and can fit around most schedules.

The Hemel Running Clinic is part of Hemel Physio, in Apsley.

For help with any problems or to check out running packages, visit www.hemelphysio.co.uk/hemel-running-clinic