Does running actually damage your hip joints ?

June 3, 2021
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It’s a commonly held belief that running whilst good for the heart etc may actually damage your hip joints and lead to early arthritis.

But it’s just that. A belief.

Okinawa and Niseko ( well in summer anyway ) are both great places to get out bust out some Km’s under foot so it’s good that researches finally directly addressed this question.

Well does it ?

Probably not. The authors found  no difference in the wear and tear on the hip. between the amount of running you do and the damage in the hip joint when undergoing an MRI scan.

The published research time and time again fails to find much of a link between the volume of exercise and the wear and tear on the joints. It seems that our bodies are better then we give them credit for at repairing the damage done and the increased blood flow extra lubrication produced via increased levels of synovial fluid ( joint grease ! ) helps too.

So get moving

The  recently published article looked at the differences in MRI findings on 3 asymptotic groups

  1. People that don’t run
  2. People that run moderately
  3. People that run a lot

 

The article does have some limitations such as a small sample size and they didn’t look at runner that may be overweight or have other risk factors to joint degeneration.

The article still lends weight the idea that most of us can and should exercise regularly and running is not likely to dramatically increase wear and tear in the hip joints.

 

References

Horga LMHenckel JFotiadou A, et al
3.0 T MRI findings of 104 hips of asymptomatic adults: from non-runners to ultra-distance runners

 





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