Perceptions about Running and Knee OA: Survey Results

In the last newsletter, we asked readers to complete a survey on running and knee joint health. Post-Doctoral Fellow, Dr. Jean-Francois Esculier has analyzed surveys and will be presenting findings at the Osteoarthritis Research Society International Conference in Liverpool, England (April 26-29, 2018) as well as at the American College of Sports Medicine conference in Minneapolis, USA (May 29-June 2, 2018).

Summary of Survey Results:

A total of 114 non-runners (52 without, and 62 with knee OA), 388 runners (338 without, and 50 runners with knee OA) and 329 healthcare practitioners (27 MDs, 149 PTs, 85 ATs, 14 DCs and 55 identified as other) completed the survey. There was a high level of uncertainty about running and knee joint health, especially in those with pre-existing KOA and 17% of the non-runners reported they had stopped running because of their diagnosis and 80% of runners stated that they would decrease running if they were diagnosed with knee OA. Sixty six percent of the general public reported that they had sought information about running and knee joint health; the most frequent source of information was their PT (33%). Research to date has not fully elucidated answers to the questions such as, will running, especially long-distance running, lead to knee OA or will people with knee OA speed degenerative changes if they engage in running. Likely, there are multiple factors that need to be considered on a case-by-case basis in order to make recommendations, but more research is needed about running and knee joint health to optimize evidence-based clinical recommendations. This highlights the need for PTs to stay informed of the latest research on running and OA.

Members of the Motion Analysis and Biofeedback Lab at UBC are working to answer these questions; for example, they are currently undertaking a study to evaluate the effects of running on cartilage in those with and without knee osteoarthritis.

More detailed information about the survey results are here: Running KOA Survey


Dr. Jean-Francois Esculier is supported by a Fellowship award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and is supervised by faculty member, Dr. Michael Hunt.