« I cannot run. I have osteoarthritis! »

2020/09/10 Home Education and advice

I often hear from my patients saying « I cannot run because I have osteoarthritis in my knee » when they arrive at the clinic. It breaks my heart to hear my patients discouraged whenever they fell this way because there is so much that I can do to help them be more active with less pain. Here are some questions that patients frequently ask regarding osteoarthritis, how it affects the knee and advice to help you understand your pain!

« I cannot run. I have osteoarthritis! »
Jessica Buonanno Jessica Buonanno Physiotherapist

What is Osteoarthritis? 

It is important to me that you understand what osteoarthritis is and why you feel pain. Understanding your pain helps reduce your anxiety related to activities.

The knee is a joint formed by two bones. Between these two bones, there is a cushion that provides shock absorption and prevents the two bones from rubbing against each together. Osteoarthritis and the related pain is due to the reduction in the thickness of the cushion and nothing more!

To help you visualize this, imagine yourself lying down on asphalt instead of a comfy mattress!

Will I aggravate my knee if I continue to run?

It is important to understand that the condition of your knee will not worsen if you continue playing sports. The opposite is actually true, and it is beneficial to stay active. When you are inactive, your body loses mobility and strength. If you have osteoarthritis, your goal is to avoid losing mobility and strength. It is however possible that you feel pain when running, and this is normal.

What can I do to reduce the pain I feel in my knee when I run?

It is normal to feel pain while running, but it is possible to minimize this pain. Here are 4 tips :

  • Do a warm-up
  • Start running gradually
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Run on a flat surface

Please see article « SINCE I JUST STARTED RUNNING, AM I DOING IT RIGHT? » for more information on these tips.

Despite the tips, I am still in pain. What should I do?

If you feel like you need additional help, whether it is for advice or for an evaluation, we are here for you!  Book an appointment at our clinic with one of our physiotherapists. It would be our pleasure to help guide you towards an active lifestyle in a safe and secure manner.

Make an appointment

Did you know?

We offer a running program, which is the possibility to evaluate your running techniques with our running consultant.  Therefore, if you are not sure about your running techniques, our physiotherapist can evaluate your running patterns and give you personalized feedback to improve your technique.

Make an appointment

I am not sure if physiotherapy can help me. What can I do? 

It is normal to have questions when trying something new. We now offer the possibility to schedule a free orientation call with a physiotherapist to help you decide if physiotherapy is right for you!

Schedule a call

I hope I convinced you that even if you have osteoarthritis in your knee, you can run or do any other sport!

Find a clinic

Click on your region

Ontario 1 Clinic Open

See all clinics on a map See all clinics on a map