'Arthritis risk' for middle-aged exercise addicts (Read 681 times)


    Thank heavens I'm not "middle aged" anymore so I don't have to worry about these kind of problemsClown

    Old age is when you move from illegal to prescribed drugs.


      My gut feeling is this...moderate low impact activity is protective of joints and generally good for one's health but running increases one's chances of getting of getting arthritis of the knees and hips.  Just talking with older previous runners seems to support this as several of them swear that running messed up their knees and hips.  Biking clubs are filled with ex-runners. 

      I am a middle-aged guy who wrecked his back twenty years ago and have seen my MRI's showing significant arthritis in both shoulders (football injurues). I can tell you that running has ELIMINATED my shoulder pain and my back has never felt better. My gut feeling is that moderate amounts of running have provided some protective effect on my shoulders and that increased core strength has improved my back.


      I've only been running for 4 years so I hope I've got a lot of running ahead of me because I'm not a fan of the bike. Would I switch if I had knee and hip problems and it were my best option to stay fit? Yes.

      2013 -Sub 2:00 for 1/2 marathon

        I know that this is an osteoarthritis thread, but my wife and 2 sons have been diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis early in life (but we now know that it's a non-arthritis condition that is often confused with arthritis by the medical community  (specific genetic mutation that leads to Primary Hypertrophic Osteoarthopathy).

        -My oldest son (19) doesn't have the fluid in the joints, and has the bones grow into the joint area (periostosis) that limit his joint mobility.   (Standing up straight, his knee joints have lost about 10 to 15 degrees from the normal 180 degrees.)

        -My youngest son (9) is exactly the same as my oldest son, but he's just 10 years younger.

        -My wife's condition is more Palendromic Rheumatism (mysterious onset in any 1 joint with drastic pain).  She has the same genetic mutation as my sons without some of the other PHO symptoms.


        All 3 of them are very active, and have been able to control their 'arthritis' through exercise.

        -My wife's condition gives her many great days, and only a couple bad days in any given month, and she's able to swim / bike / run during those good days.

        -My oldest son can shoot a basketball unlike most others, but his sprint speed has been challenged with his condition.  He runs 5km, 10km, and 15km races throughout the year, and manages a decent pace for someone with very limited joint mobility.

        -My youngest son is a great swimmer.  Due to the condition of my wife and older son, we decided to put our youngest son in swimming at a young age to keep him active without having the wear and tear on his joints (as well as limiting ability due to a reduction in joint function as he goes through his early teenage years).  He also enjoys kids triathlons and wants to do an Ironman when he grows up after winning Olympic gold in swimming.


        I know this post is unrelated to the 'middle aged exercise addicts', but I guess the relative relationship of being active with arthritic conditions is close to home for me.

        --- side note: in some crazy way, I sometimes believe that my personal activity addiction is to better understand and better associate with their daily pain.  I do know that my activity 'addiction' started in the month that they were finally diagnosed with their genetic mutation.  Prior to that, I was active, just not addicted.



        2017 Goals:

        #1: Do what I can do (200+ training days, 200+ aerobic hours). 

        #2: Race shape (1/2 marathon, 2 half Ironmans, marathon)

        #3: Prepare for 2018


          Well my trails are pretty mellow, not very hilly, no rock, but yeah it's more of a workout than the road.  A lot more turns, changes in direction.  But the impact on the legs is less because the dirt is softer and there is good amount of leaves and pine needles.  That's the theory anyway.  I do occasionally get grabbed by a root snake and go for a tumble but I run so slowly the impact is minimal.


          Yeah, I'm not a doctor, but I see this as the issue. When you run, on pavement, usually you're running straight, and there is no sideways force on the knee (normally) in odd directions. But trail running, you're moving around, jumping over things, rocks, your knees are twisting like you're playing tennis or soccer or something, and that's where the issue lies.


          I don't see the surface (asphalt vs. concrete vs. dirt) as much as an issue, although dirt is certainly better than asphalt.


          As for me, my left knee has no cartilage in it anymore because of an injury I had when I was 19. It gives me pain, sometimes I get a Baker's Cyst, which was scary the first time it happened, but now I know about it. I have osteoarthritis there, but is has nothing to do with my running. The Dr. gave me a brace to keep my kneecap from moving from side to side, and, other than the really odd tan lines I get, it seems to work fine.