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Running does not cause knee pain - faulty posture causes knee pain

Posted Mar 10 2010 3:24pm
I love research. Through research we have learned so many great things about the human body – how it works and what effects it in positive and negative ways. But research also comes to a lot of incorrect conclusions, leading experts around the world to preach false information which the media loves to pick up and spread like a virus.

Egoscue San Fransisco has written a great blog post about this very topic by using common sense to help clear the fog:

Two Steps Forward, One Giant Leap Back.

Just when we think modern science is catching up to common sense, they find a way to fall off course.  Recently researchers from UCSF published an article about how an exercise addiction can cause more harm than good on the knee.  This current claim sounds almost like a rebuttal to the big Stanford running study- running is good for you, not bad- that David had mentioned in his previous post. So once again, researchers are making a villain out of movement when the real culprit is the position of the knee.

If the problem is actually the position of the joint and not the activity, then researchers need to pay more attention to the role of knee position as they conduct these studies.  Visually, the difference in the positioning of the knee is very obvious. I found this picture from the Journal of American Medical Association website:

  arthritic knee

Notice something … the arthritic knee on the right is showing the cartilage deteriorating all on one side. Why would that be? The obvious answer is the femur and tibia weren’t lined up to begin with. The femur was medially rotated and tilted which is due to a major muscle imbalance in the muscles of the leg and the pelvis. The researchers are drawing the conclusion that running and anything that increases strain on the knee is bad for the knee, but they’re forgetting the why. The position of the knee going into running is the problem, not the running itself. FIX THE POSITION AND RUNNING WILL ACTUALLY BE GOOD FOR THE KNEE! Don’t fix the position, and they’re correct in their findings that running and even walking will further deteriorate this joint.  When will doctors, researchers, and the rest of musculoskeletal health community start to realize that the reason the knee hurts has less to do with the running and jumping, and more to do with the misalignment of the knee and the muscles that keep it there?!!

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