What does running do to your knees?


Dr. Scott during the Historic Half 2019.

Dr. Scott during the Historic Half 2019.

Have you been told to STOP running because it’ll cause knee pain and/or arthritis?

Fear no more + let’s see if we can get you out running again.

Research is showing that more running can actually lead to stronger bones and increased cartilage strength over time, or at a minimum no degeneration. After a 10 year study that looked at marathoners knees in a MRI concluded that, “No major new internal damage in the knee joints of marathon runners was found after a 10-year interval.”

Researchers have gone further to state that “a protective value of long distance running on the internal structures of the knee joint is discussed.”

So more running == less damage to the knees.

How is this possible?

Wolfe’s/Wolff’s Law: states that repetitive loading is good for bone density and tendon strength. This means that putting a load on a structure, like the pounding of running on joints, causes the structures and surrounding tissues to increase in strength.

So does running help build strength or cause wear and tear?

Further studies of show that the smaller, more frequent repetitive loading is best. This means running little bursts each day or more often is the best. Long, hard runs only a couple times a week can cause more damage on the knees.



Have trouble getting a running schedule together? Let us help! Dr. Scott Heppe has run many races from 5Ks to ultras. Dr. Erica Heppe has also run many races and will be doing her first ultra this summer 2019. They both have started running longer distances at faster paces, since having 2 kids. It is not easy, but it is possible!

Call us (540) 840-4144 to start running pain free today!