No. There are a lot of myths about running being bad for the knees. As a physical therapist and a barefoot runner, I deal with the question in my practice, “Is running a good exercise? Is it good for my knees? Will I end up with early degenerative changes in my knees?”

Knee Anatomy
The knee has cartilage on the surface of the joint which helps to absorb shock. These include two “C-shaped” pieces of cartilage called meniscus. These cartilage help absorb the forces of weight-bearing and running on the knee joint. When functioning properly, the knee joint with its supporting structures of muscles and ligaments, is designed to absorb the shock of running. However, if the conditioning of your body and the knee are not appropriate you may end up in pain or injury, even if you are a novice or veteran.

What is Conditioning?
To be a good runner you need to work on your flexibility, mobility training, strength training and endurance of all the muscles in the body. This should not be compromised. Remember, conditioning is not only for the legs but the whole body.

The Warm Up and Cool Down
This is also a very important aspect of training to prevent injuries. A good amount of time spent on dynamic stretching is paramount so that your muscles are really prepared to perform the run. As well as the importance of performing static stretches at the end of your running as a cool down phase.

Here are some stretches which will help prevent running related injuries so you can lace up those shoes and hit the pavement with confidence. However, if you are experiencing any knee pain, consult your physical therapist to avoid further injury.