Running with No Cartilage – Everything You Need To Know
Running is one of the best exercises you can do. It is simple and low maintenance . Simply throw on a pair of runners and hit the pavement (or better yet, your local grass fields to protect your knees).
But can you run with knees that have little to no cartilage?
It’s a question that our team at The Best Knee Braces get asked all the time, and it can be difficult to find good answers.
With that in mind, we did some research to find out everything you need to know about running with no cartilage, and we’ve compiled our findings in one place for the good of the running community.
What Happens if You have No Cartilage in your Knee?
Hopefully you are reading this BEFORE you have found out through an endoscopy that you have no cartilage in your knee. However, if you are in the unfortunate position of being without cartilage, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from further injury and pain.
First things first, you want to avoid situations or activities that risk injuring your knee. This includes any contact sports or sports that involve quick turns and adding unnecessary pressure on the knee.
The next activities you will want to avoid are heavy impact activities that put stress on your knee, such as running up and down the stairs with boxes or lifting objects. Such activities require the knee joint moving in such a way that could potentially cause the ends of your bones to come into contact with one another. This generally only ends in you feeling excruciating pain.
Finally, we recommend investing in a good knee brace, so that you can run, jump, and exercise without injuring your knee. This may sound biased coming from us, however we find this is one of the most economical solutions to treating the symptoms associated with the absence of knee cartilage.
Can I Start Running with Bad Knees
The short answer is NO.
However, don’t be too disappointed. There are steps you can take to get you back on the running track.
If you feel that you have bad knees, we would recommend seeking the advice of a medical professional to obtain a full analysis of your knee joint condition. A full examination will hopefully identify the cause of any niggling pains you are experiencing and lead you to the source of the problem.
Once you know the source of the problem, you can begin taking steps to treating the pain/injury to support your knee.
Does Running Destroy Cartilage?
To say running destroys cartilage would be incorrect.
If you are using a sound running style and supports for your muscles and joints, running is a perfect form of exercise that we encourage everything to partake in.
However, if you are running in such a way (poor running form) that places unnatural pressure and stress on the knee joint, it can certainly contribute to the degradation of cartilage in your knee.
Another reason people may think running destroys cartilage is because the action of running has aggravated the knee joint. When in actual fact, it was a previous injury or malformation in the body structure that is the actual cause of the damaged cartilage. This includes a tilted pelvis, or even having an overweight body that places more pressure on the knees.
Should I Change My Running Style and Training Schedule?
Running with no cartilage in knee can be a very painful experience that no runner should have to experience.
If you are new to running and experiencing pain when you run, we recommend looking at your running form. It could be a simple solution of changing the way you run that will save you from experiencing a lifetime of knees without cartilage.
Here is a great video with tips for a text book running form:
In terms of your training schedule, you can choose whatever regime fits in with your lifestyle. We will, however, recommend if you do experience any knee pain to wind back your training schedule to a minimum. Seek medical advice on the possible sources of the pain, and implement some preventative measures to support your knee.
What Can I do to Help Rebuild my Cartilage?
Unfortunately, the science behind the regeneration of cartilage is not good news. Once the body is out of the growth phase into adulthood, cartilage does not regrow. This is due to its proximity to a blood supply and lack of access to the nutrients that it would require to regenerate.
It is for this reason why it is so important to protect your cartilage before it withers away. Implement some preventative techniques we have identified in this article, such as a good supportive running knee brace, to maintain a healthy knee joint.
Final Thoughts On Running with No Cartilage in Knee
Running with no cartilage in knee joints is not a fun experience.
If there is one key point you takeaway from this article, it is to jump onto the preventative methods and preserve any cartilage you have in your joints right now.
Check your running form, get yourself a running knee brace and maintain a healthy diet! So you can continue running well into your old age!
See you on the running circuit!