Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

Will Running Cause Knee Arthritis?

March 16, 2023

In our Boulder Physical Therapy and Lafayette Physical Therapy clinics we commonly are asked the question on the link between running and knee arthritis. The evidence keeps pointing to a lack of correlation between running and arthritis of the knee. Authors of the study “Running Does Not Increase Symptoms or Structural Progression in People with Knee Osteoarthritis: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative” investigated the impact of running on the symptoms and structural progression of knee osteoarthritis. The study involved 1,194 participants with knee osteoarthritis who were followed up for up to four years. The results showed that running did not exacerbate symptoms or structural progression in people with knee osteoarthritis. On the contrary, running was found to be associated with improved physical function and reduced pain.

The study’s findings have significant implications for the management of knee osteoarthritis, as it challenges the traditional belief that running is harmful to the knees. The authors suggest that running may even have beneficial effects on the knees by improving muscular strength and promoting cartilage health. This study provides evidence to support the inclusion of running as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for knee osteoarthritis, alongside other interventions such as weight loss and physical therapy.

Are you looking to maximize your running performance or are you recovering from an injury and hope to get back to running? At MEND we specialize in examining the whole runner, from a physical exam to what happens during the running gait cycle.

Schedule an appointment with one of our running specialists to get an evaluation

Curious about exercise routines that can help improve your running, visit our YouTube page and check out our playlists directed at runners.

Read about running on our blog.


1. Lo GH, Musa SM, Driban JB, Kriska AM, McAlindon TE, Souza RB, Petersen NJ, Storti KL, Eaton CB, Hochberg MC, Jackson RD, Kwoh CK, Nevitt MC, Suarez-Almazor ME. Running does not increase symptoms or structural progression in people with knee osteoarthritis: data from the osteoarthritis initiative. Clin Rheumatol. 2018 Sep;37(9):2497-2504. doi: 10.1007/s10067-018-4121-3. Epub 2018 May 4. PMID: 29728929; PMCID: PMC6095814.