Physioworks Health Group: Running and Knee Osteoarthritis

Over recent years, the University of Melbourne have conducted Knee Osteoarthritis (Knee OA) research investigating ways to increase adherence to exercise programs to improve long term effectiveness.

Physioworks Camberwell and Physioworks Mulgrave (Waverley Park Physiotherapy Centre) were selected to be involved in these clinical research studies looking at new program approaches to knee arthritis management.

In a recent article in The Age, “Why running is not your knees worst enemy” , a new US study from Baylor University found that runners, regardless of the age they were when they ran, had less knee pain and osteoarthritis.

These findings add to the growing evidence that running isn’t the arch-enemy of knees it’s made out to be – providing the knees have no pre-existing problems. One large study of more than 74,000 US runners found that running significantly reduced the risk of both osteoarthritis and knee replacement.

Physioworks Health Group Director and Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist Andrew Dalwood commented that it is relevant and exciting to see that new research is always examining old thoughts on injury development and management to see if the facts actually do stack up.

“This new study fits with other research which has shown exercise based interventions in osteoarthritis is beneficial. Clinically I have seen people with x-rays which look very poor, being able to improve in functional abilities and reduced pain with exercise based approaches” said Andrew.

“I am not saying everyone needs to go and run, however if a program of increased activity and exercise is set up appropriately and progressed slowly enough, then yes running maybe an option in some cases” added Andrew.


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