a recent medical article suggests running may not increase oneís
chances of developing knee arthritis and may even help prevent the
disease, two local physicians offer reasons to challenge and support
American College of Rheumatology study of 2,600 people is posted on
the Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare site. The study has not been
interesting article about a study that has minimal sample size,"
said Dr. Eric Pifel, a Wheaton orthopedic surgeon who practices at the
Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital in Franklin.
He says although
there may be holes in the findings, the study has purpose. "I
like these kind of articles because it piques interest in how we
remain healthy," Pifel says.
He points out
that running is good for most people as long as it is done in
running is best when it is combined with other activities that also
are good for cardiovascular health," he says. Cross-training is
ideal. "The people who only run and then take a hiatus and begin
running again at the same level can face problems."
Doing only one
type of exercise like running, Pifel notes, is comparable to driving
the same way in a circle so that only one part of the tires wears out.
No studies show
that running causes arthritis, says Dr. Anne Hoch, a specialist at the
Sports Medicine Center of Froedtert & the Medical College of
Wisconsin. She says weight, joint injury and age play bigger roles.
are a lot of people who say you shouldnít run, that it will give you
arthritis in your knees," Hoch says. "How many times have
you heard that?"
She sees far
more younger, overweight people with arthritis than, say, 60-year-old
runners with the same problem.
For runners and
others, therapy options are available. Steroid shots are one approach,
though Hoch says the anti-inflammatory also can cause damage to
cartilage cells. Hyaluronic acid injections ó what Hoch calls gel
shots ó provide cushion.
can advance to where you get fluid that causes your quadriceps muscle
to shut down," she says. "We can drain that fluid and get
you into physical therapy."
runners by nature may not want activity or therapy options.
hard for some to give it up," he says. "Runners are hooked
on running. Thereís a euphoria and itís about ego."