Does it knacker your knees

Keep hearing stories!

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07/11/2007 at 21:01

Virtually every time running is mentioned in converstion some bright spark brings up a story about someone they know who ended up with wrecked knees from running.

Is this a real possibility or are these just urban legends?

Is it that damaging and if so, why, I really enjoy it and hate the thought of having to stop at some point because I've worn myself out???

Cheers Andy.

07/11/2007 at 21:06

You body adapts to specific demands placed upon it.  The SAID Principles - Specific Adaptation to Impossed Demands.

If you went to work in a rice field your back would be shot in a matter of minutes. If you do too much running too soon it's possible a part of your knees could become damaged, or any other part of your body for that matter.

A gradual sensible build up of running should incur no damage to your body whatsoever.


07/11/2007 at 21:08

I started runningas an obese female

Ive done nearly 70 marathons in 5 years

I do about 40 mpw

Im still overweight

i have proper shoes

and to those who go on about knees


07/11/2007 at 21:10
living proof
07/11/2007 at 21:11
Good for you, this is what I wanted to hear
07/11/2007 at 22:06
If you have anything wrong with your bio-mechanics r*nning does tend to find it.
07/11/2007 at 23:19

I've been running continuously (well more or less) for 11 years and my knees are OK.

I used to get this wickedness and deception from my then boss, an unrepentant smoker.  His wife was a physiotherapist.  He used to tell me I'd be her next patient.  I got fed up with this abuse and told him that he'd be the heart department's next patient.  He didn't say anything more after that.

07/11/2007 at 23:27

I think it can exacerbate sittyations that you may already have.

On the other hand it can make you STRONG and prevent problems.

So, my conclusion is.... I have no idea.

But some folk will use any excuse not to get off their heiney and that might have summat to do with it.

07/11/2007 at 23:32

just to let you know the numbers

was 11 stone 9

5 2 (and a bit)

bit lighter these dyas -sod all to do nwith running-but no knee  issues at all

I was OBESE-and am still overweight now

I run anyway

08/11/2007 at 08:44

This is something that has concerned me. I didn't want to start doing any activity that was likely to cause me long term problems, so I've looked round on the internet. I read some research, sorry can't remember where, that concluded that runners are less likely to suffer painful knees than the rest of the population. Perhaps the benefits become more obvious as you get older and while the rest of the population is getting older and more decrepit, perhaps the ones who are fitter have developed stronger joints. Also read another bit of research that said that runners are no more likely to get arthritis than the rest of the population. There's quite a bit of information on the internet if you google it. It seems that injury, rather than any degenerative process, is the main thing to guard against. Runners seem to be quite susceptible to injury though so I've just ordered a book called 'injury-free running'. Will let you know what it's like if you want.


08/11/2007 at 08:50

Its footy and rugby that does your knees in

08/11/2007 at 10:00
True Hips, in the last  few years before I packed up football 2 of the team snapped cruciate ligaments (and both repairs have subsequently failed) and another guy needed 3 ops on his ankle to repair an injury - and that's not taking into account general knocks and wear and tear - rugby is supposed to be worse. 
08/11/2007 at 10:09

I'm waiting for an arthroscopy for my b*ggered knee.

It wasn't caused by running, it was caused by running incorrectly. I would rather have a b*ggered knee than a b*ggered heart, or diabetes, or a stroke. The knee will be made better, I shall build up the muscles that need building up and I will learn how to run downhill properly (quite important when you live in the Chilterns).

My (much loved) sister was first among the 'oooo you don't wanna do that, you'll ruin your knees' brigade when I started running a few years ago. Her current smugness is tempered by the fact that she's still nearly 13 stone and I'm ... not.

08/11/2007 at 10:16
think plodding hippo hit the nail on the head there in mentioning other sports. sports involving sharp directional change are more likely to cause wear and tear on knees than pure running. i played competitive squash and i believe this caused the problem in my left knee. it gets worse after about 20 miles.
cougie    pirate
08/11/2007 at 10:18
Ooh I was behind Alan Hansen at the airport last year - he can barely hobble. Football is a baaaad thing for you. And its not like he'd have to have treatment on the NHS is it ?
08/11/2007 at 10:23
If you have dodgy knees, running isn't a particularly good idea. However people in general aren't going to injure their knees by running.
08/11/2007 at 10:24

I read a study (sorry I can't remember where) which concluded that runners are less likely to suffer joint problems like arthritis and osteoporosis but more likely to have muscle/tendon injuries. Personally I'd rather risk tendonitis than arthritis!

And if we're talking anecdotal evidence, I was at a race on the weekend where an 85 year old was taking part (and did 8K in 51:24 on a hilly cross country course!) and it didn't seem to have ruined his knees!

08/11/2007 at 10:29


 i've met oads of ex-pros over the years and the majority of them can barely walk now. it takes them about an hour to warm up. still i'd sacrifice it to say i won a league title of champions league medal. hansen has 3 of them! was it worth it? yes it was!

08/11/2007 at 14:13

This question is dealt with by Prof Tim Noakes in his 'Lore of Running', and his 10th law of running injuries states There is no definitive scientific evidence that running causes osteoarthritis in runners whose knees were normal when they started running. This last bit is key: running can certainly aggravate problems or bring out underlying problems to the surface, but as an activity running is something that our anatomy appears to deal with pretty well, and has done so for several tens of thousands of years (and for most of that time without Gel, Air, Footbridges, Trusstic, Abzorb, Grid etc etc)!!

Go to for your daily dose of running - news, links and tips. 

08/11/2007 at 14:13
I been playing football since I was 10 years old (now mid 30's) and running seriously for the past year to 18 months. My knees are fine.

For me if you train right, eat right, warm up/cool down and wear the right gear the risk to damaging your knees or any other joint is greatly reduced. You will never eliminate the risk but I believe in getting the basics right will significantly mitigate any risk running or any other sport may have on your body.
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