How Safe Is Running With Arthritis In The Knee?
For men and women who enjoy running and lead an overall active lifestyle, developing knee arthritis can be tremendously discouraging. While your first thought may be that you have to give up running completely, this is not necessarily true. Orthopedic physician Dr. Christopher Williams and the expert team at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta are dedicated to helping patients get rapid, long-lasting relief from arthritis pain and continue their favorite activities safely. Learn more about running with knee arthritis here, including whether it may be safe for you and what measures you should take to prevent worsening pain and joint damage.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is an often painful condition that leads to inflammation and swelling of the joints. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two of the most common types of arthritis, though there are actually hundreds of variations of the condition. Patients with arthritis typically suffer from one or more of the following symptoms:
- Reduced mobility in the joint
- Stiffness upon waking or standing
- Joint inflammation or swelling
Although virtually anyone can develop arthritis, which commonly affects the hands, wrists, and knees, some factors that can increase your risk for arthritis include:
- Repetitive strain or use of the joint
- Being overweight
Can I still exercise with arthritis in the knee?
It is a common misconception that exercise makes knee arthritis worse. In reality, physical activity can actually be a valuable practice for helping to keep the joint flexible and minimize arthritis pain. However, it is important to consult with your doctor before beginning or resuming any form of exercise, including running, if you have been diagnosed with arthritis in a joint. Depending on the severity and nature of your arthritis, you may need to limit or alter your exercise routine to prevent strain or worsening pain. Once you have clearance from your doctor, use these helpful tips to ensure safety and comfort when running with knee arthritis:
- Stretch before running
- Run later in the day when your knees are not as stiff
- Take frequent breaks
- Run on a soft surface (track, treadmill, etc.) instead of concrete
- Invest in a quality pair of running shoes
- Mix up your exercise routine with low-impact activities (swimming, cycling)
- Listen to your body
If you begin to notice that your arthritis pain is worsening or your knee is becoming swollen after running, take a break until you are able to see your doctor. He or she may recommend changes to your running habits or undergoing additional treatment for your knee arthritis.
How can I get knee arthritis pain relief?
In some cases, running and other forms of exercise – when practiced safely and appropriately – can actually improve arthritis pain in the knee. For other patients, at-home remedies and conservative therapies, such as physical therapy and stretching, can provide adequate pain relief. When these methods fail to improve your symptoms, Dr. Williams may recommend more extensive treatments for knee arthritis in Atlanta, GA. Some of the most common and effective treatment options for arthritis in the knees include:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Orthobiologics (e.g. platelet rich plasma - PRP or bone marrow stem cells)
During your initial consultation, Dr. Williams will evaluate your joints, discuss your symptoms, and take a thorough health history. Imaging studies, such as a CT scan or MRI, and lab studies, may also be ordered to further elucidate the nature and severity of your condition. Depending on the findings, Dr. Williams will recommend the most appropriate course of treatment for your arthritis.
Return to your favorite activities and get long-lasting pain relief with knee arthritis treatment in Atlanta, GA
While no one particularly wants to develop knee arthritis, it may not be as devastating as it sounds. With proper treatment and safe practices, patients with arthritis are often still able to enjoy their favorite physical activities, including running. If you suspect that you may be suffering from arthritis in the knees, call the knowledgeable team at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta to schedule your private consultation with sought-after orthopedic physician Dr. Christopher Williams today. We look forward to helping you get reliable pain relief and get back to doing the things you love as soon as possible!