General Discussion Triathlon Talk » My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees) Rss Feed  
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2013-05-24 11:05 PM


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Subject: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
So I'm at my yearly Drs appointment. I tell him I'm training for a1/2 ironman. After looking at me as if I had lost my senses we discussed my recent knee injury. (Inflamed bursa). I told him it happened after a 2 mile run. He actually said Tyler you've (incredulous you've) been running? So I've known this guy for years and he's been after me about my weight the whole time. He's fit. He's told me more than once "Tyler, you and I are the same age". Apparently trying to get me to live a healthy lifestyle. So here I am with my Dr who is apparently having trouble squaring me and ironman. He actually told me the you and I line again. I let him know that some fat people ARE active and do exercise. Anyway, he tells me running will destroy my knees and I should walk. Or even worse. Do the iron man on a relay team. WHAT? I have no health problems that will keep me from tris. Anyway, do runners actually hurt their knees long term? So two things I learned today. My doctor and I aren't on the same page, and a change in the doctor/patient relationship occurred today. Can't lie, pissed me off. Now I'm more determined than ever. Concerned about that knee comment though. What say you BT?







2013-05-24 11:32 PM
in reply to: respro

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Lodi, California
Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
In my opinion, running strengthens nearly all muscles in your lower body and entire cardiovascular system. The stresses tend to strengthen bones. There is very little hip, knee or ankle twisting so severe liagment and meniscus injuries are usually rare. I think the main idea is knowing when to ease back and get checked out when chronic issues arise. I would recommend running on soft surfaces whenever possible and looking into glucosamine supplements. I have heard discussions (in running magazines) that severe medical authorities were alarmed by the rising popularity of running in the 80s and 90s, and predicted a knee repair epidemic... evidently this epidemic still hasn't happened yet. His concern might be ginuine but I am sure there are more supportive doctors out there.
2013-05-25 12:47 AM
in reply to: respro

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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
first of all...change doctors to one that understands sports.

the average family doctor isn't going to advocate Ironmans, even to them it's "fantasy" for weird people.

I've been running since high school (officially) and certainly ran my butt off as a kid.
Welp, did my first marathon at 47, first Ironman at 49...and not stopping.

Sure I get some aches and pains, but I don't feel like the "end is near" for running at all.

We all have an experiment we do, it's called LIFE. Some experiments prosper, others fail, and still others change.
Do it wisely, and run with knowledge.
I think you can run all your life, if you are careful and manage it well.
2013-05-25 5:44 AM
in reply to: metafizx

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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
I don't believe there is any good evidence that running responsibly will cause problems down the road.

I think it's a medical "old wives tale" like saying stay away from popcorn if you have diverticulitis...actually the opposite is true!

Keep at it!
2013-05-25 6:37 AM
in reply to: respro

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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)

Well, you say you're overweight.  How overweight are you?

Depending on how much, it can be advisable to lose weight first through healthy diet and moderate exercise before taking on the extremes of long course triathlon.  Nobody likes to admit it around here, but truthfully, even though doing an Ironman isn't bad for you the way sitting on the couch all day and eating Krispy Kremes is, it's not exactly healthy compared to more moderate physical pursuits such as racing sprints and olys.

I'm not agreeing with your doctor, but I'm not going to automatically poo poo what he's saying without knowing more.

 

2013-05-25 6:45 AM
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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
Through my own experiences and observations I have concluded that it actually helps your knees. My father who is in his mid 60's was shot in the knee with a .22 rifle when he was a kid and the doctors told him he was never going to walk again. He ended up recovering but had severe knee pain all of his life. When he was in his 40's he took up running and he swears that running made his knee feel better. He has went from running 4 days a week to just running 2 days a week and has taken up cycling and does it 3-4 days a week. Doctors keep trying to talk him into a knee replacement and he thinks the only reason he hasn't had one yet is due to running and now the addition of cycling.

When I was 18y/o I injured my knee playing football a complete tear of the PCL and cartilage damage. My knee bothered me more and more when I started putting on a little weight the older I got. I decided to take up running about 5 years ago and my knee hurt all the time when I started running. I had to ice it almost everytime I got done running. My wife thought I was crazy for putting myself through the pain. Although it started getting better and better and after losing 40Ibs my knee rarely bothers me. So I'm a firm believer that running can be a very positive thing for your knees if nothing else it will keep off on wanted weight which is probably worse for your knee than anything.

Edited by EKH 2013-05-25 6:50 AM


2013-05-25 7:17 AM
in reply to: EKH

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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
I encourage my patients to be fit and most of them look at me like I am crazy when I say I bike 50 miles and then go for a short run. Regardless, I pulled some quick references for you off of PubMed, you may want to do a search to help educate yourself and your PCP. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16790540,http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18550323, and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16436539

I don't think the evidence is definitive in either direction, but these three seem to indicate that it doesn't increase osteoarthritis.

Good luck!
2013-05-25 7:42 AM
in reply to: respro

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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
You're doctor seems concerned about you and that's a good thing. I would consider his advice and then make your own decision. The advice on losing weight is good. The heavier you are, the more stress on your knees. Whether you do this race or not, there are a lot of benefits to losing weight.
Also, see if you can learn the marathon run style. There is a lot less knee lift and it is very efficient. Because of the smaller knee lift, there is less pounding and therefore less stress on the knee.
2013-05-25 8:48 AM
in reply to: b2run

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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
With lots of runners on this board you will likely get lots of anecdotal stories, here is mine
I am 44, 5'9" 150 pounds and I run. I played soccer in HS = knee surgery in 1987 but no knee problems since I started running 5 years ago.
My sister is 5'7" 225 pounds, she has never run and at 51 needs both knees replaced. The good news is she says she doesn't see the point until she looses weight but her knees are destroyed because of her weight and inactivity.
2013-05-25 9:07 AM
in reply to: KeriKadi

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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
There are plenty of non-runners with bad knees.
That said, distance running is a difficult sport to get started in. Volume and frequency are more important than distance. A solid base of a year or two of shorter distance high frequency runs will help a great deal before starting long course running, (HM ,HIM and above). Muscles become strong much faster than tendons and ligaments, so as you strengthen running muscles they are anchored by weaker tendons and ligaments, and that is a recipe for an injury that can take a very long time to heal if at all.
If running is begun and done in a smart and conservative way I don't think its harder on any part of your body than any other exercise.

I'm probably going to get some flak from people who went Couch-IM in six months but this is a site for opinions, and that's mine.
2013-05-25 10:28 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
I would agree with the fact that you need to stay within your limits and listen to your body. If you have bad form, are considerably overweight, or have a biomechanical problem, then you indeed might have knee issues. However, I have been running for 33 years (I'm 59) and have never had a knee issue related to running. I did have a bicycle crash in December that tweaked my knee, but never a problem because of running. That is even with being officially diagnosed with arthritis in my knees (lower back too for that matter). But yet, I never have knee pain. I stay flexible, pay attention to the surfaces I run on (especially slant/slope), and don't push myself beyond my limits.

This doctor sounds like he might not be an ideal doctor for athletes. My 2 cents.

Edited by topolina 2013-05-25 10:29 AM


2013-05-25 11:08 AM
in reply to: respro

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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
respro, how old are you? How much do you weigh?

Maybe your Doc is concerned about you going from zero to half iron right away?

2013-05-25 11:19 AM
in reply to: wisconmd


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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
Originally posted by wisconmd

respro, how old are you? How much do you weigh?

43 and 263. 283 on April 1st of this year.
2013-05-25 11:31 AM
in reply to: TriMyBest


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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
Originally posted by TriMyBest

Well, you say you're overweight.  How overweight are you?

Depending on how much, it can be advisable to lose weight first through healthy diet and moderate exercise before taking on the extremes of long course triathlon.  Nobody likes to admit it around here, but truthfully, even though doing an Ironman isn't bad for you the way sitting on the couch all day and eating Krispy Kremes is, it's not exactly healthy compared to more moderate physical pursuits such as racing sprints and olys.

I'm not agreeing with your doctor, but I'm not going to automatically poo poo what he's saying without knowing more.

 



I'm remarkably healthy aside from being 263 lbs. I've never had any health problems to speak of. Normal labs normal BP etc. I'm starting to show the signs though. plantar fasciitis in both feet and obstructive sleep apnea. So I need to lose weight. 283lbs 2 months ago. Common consensus from my doctors is if I lose weight and change my diet I'll be golden.
2013-05-25 11:38 AM
in reply to: #4756402

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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
There is a saying or a quote or something that goes a little this: those who say something can't be done should not get in the way of those in the process of doing it. I probably messed itis a little but you get the idea.
2013-05-25 12:04 PM
in reply to: b2run

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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
Originally posted by b2run

You're doctor seems concerned about you ...


I disagree. The, "look, we're the same age & my situation is better than yours..." sounds more like he's out to boost his own ego. There's no need for the psychiatrist to tell his patient that he's less neurotic than his patient.

Re knees, I'm not a doctor [well, I am a lawyer, i.e. I have a juris DOCTOR degree ] the jury's back & it ain't saying that running will destroy your knees. I can't believe people are still stuck on that one.

BUT, I would heed the caution others are giving. Endurance sports such as IMs really are hard core.


2013-05-25 2:01 PM
in reply to: respro

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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
"a runner's knee withstands a force equal to eight times his or her body weight.."

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1948208,00.html

From what I've read, the knee's take between 4-8 X your body weight depending on what you're doing (walking, running, etc).
So it totally makes sense to reduce body weight as a goal...no matter whether you are a runner or not.

Running strengthens your legs tremendously which helps protect from damage, assuming other injuries aren't present.

Changing from heel strike to mid foot strike will also help protect your knees from running damage.

I definitely believe in both the weight loss and mid foot strike as extremely helpful to better, pain-free running.


2013-05-25 6:28 PM
in reply to: metafizx

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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
Read my signature line....that's all I've got.  I'm running until I can't....and I likely won't be able to walk either. Laughing
2013-05-25 6:29 PM
in reply to: metafizx

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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
Another runner for 33 years who's never had knee issues (except for scrapes and bruises from tripping over my own feet). Granted, I'm less than half your weight, but still......plenty of people run happily into old age with few or no problems. In my experience, many of the people who do have serious problems either built up mileage too quickly, or had underlying issues like scar tissue from a previous injury (often a traumatic one from sports that involve a lot of turns and twists like football) or naturally poor alignment. If you do have one of those issues, then focusing on the other two sports in tri, and doing some limited run/walk just to get you thru the run leg, may be a better idea.

If you're a heavier runner, then you need to be extra-careful about building up mileage gradually, wearing suitable shoes (you're probably not the best candidate for those minimalist ones), not running through joint pain, doing as much running as you can on softer surfaces, stretching and strengthening supporting muscles (a personal trainer or physical therapist can make good recommendations; there's also lots of stuff on the web), and just generally taking good care of yourself. I'd suggest a run-walk program--it will take some of the stress off your knees while allowing you to put in the time and mileage that will help you lose weight and develop the endurance for longer races. Plenty of people do run/walk for the longer tris anyway, whether they planned to or not.
2013-05-26 8:44 AM
in reply to: respro

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Payson, AZ
Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)

Originally posted by respro
Originally posted by wisconmd respro, how old are you? How much do you weigh?
43 and 263. 283 on April 1st of this year.

So you are well on your way with some amazing progress already.  Diet is what is going to control your weight, not exercise, so keep concentrating there.  Bike and swim are not weight bearing so if it were me I'd focus on those two areas for now.  Keep running if your body lets you but keep it short and sweet.  You'll gain lots with the bike/swim focus.  As you start to feel the effects of losing more weight start to increase the run slowly and soon you'll be where you want to be to do your tri.  And your knees will be just fine

2013-05-26 9:02 AM
in reply to: bzgl40

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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
I am one of those Family Doctors and I have done 3 70,3's in the last 3 years with numerous sprints and olympics and will be doing Florida Ironman in November. . I was a biker for 20 years. I am 54when I first started running, everything from my hips to my feet hurt during the first year. After that first year, I have only had a few sore muscles, cramps. etc since. I did switch to a forefoot style that first year, which seemed to help, or I just built up . Who Knows? As an FP, I would not tell anyone to not try. I have countless stories of patients that started and now their lives are changed completely. There are no absolutes. If you are concerned, I would probably talk to an Orthopod at least. I have been a doctor for close to 30 years and have yet to limit anyone.


2013-05-26 2:17 PM
in reply to: metafizx

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Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)

That's the article I was going to reply with also. I've heard the "running is bad for you" comments from a few folks, but thankfully it's very few.
2013-05-26 4:48 PM
in reply to: respro

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Colorado
Subject: RE: My doctor says running will cost me as I get older. (knees)
First, ease into it and listen to your body!

Second, doctor's don't always know what's best. I have some labrum issues in my right hip--it's thinner than on the left side, and there's some damage from an injury that occurred many years ago. Three years ago, when I amped up my running volume in preparation for a marathon, it started bothering me quite a bit. I went to see a specialist who works on athletes at a local university. He told me to back off running or I'd have to have the hip replaced within five years. I got a second opinion. The second doctor, looking at exactly the same images, said there was no problem with me continuing to run. He just said to that I needed to ease into it, listen to my body, and if I'm feeling that familiar aching in the hip, don't push through it. Stop, rest it, and see how it feels in a couple of days.

I took the latter doctor's advice. Let it heal up, let the inflammation go done, then eased back in a couple of weeks later. I've now run over 4000 miles on that hip (plus about double that number of miles biking) without any problems whatsoever. I also had the hip re-examined just the spring, just for preventative reasons, and if anything the labrum actually looks better than it did three years ago and 4000 miles earlier.

Your mileage may vary. But these things are often judgment calls and docs don't always get it right.

QUOTE]Originally posted by respro

So I'm at my yearly Drs appointment. I tell him I'm training for a1/2 ironman. After looking at me as if I had lost my senses we discussed my recent knee injury. (Inflamed bursa). I told him it happened after a 2 mile run. He actually said Tyler you've (incredulous you've) been running? So I've known this guy for years and he's been after me about my weight the whole time. He's fit. He's told me more than once "Tyler, you and I are the same age". Apparently trying to get me to live a healthy lifestyle. So here I am with my Dr who is apparently having trouble squaring me and ironman. He actually told me the you and I line again. I let him know that some fat people ARE active and do exercise. Anyway, he tells me running will destroy my knees and I should walk. Or even worse. Do the iron man on a relay team. WHAT? I have no health problems that will keep me from tris. Anyway, do runners actually hurt their knees long term? So two things I learned today. My doctor and I aren't on the same page, and a change in the doctor/patient relationship occurred today. Can't lie, pissed me off. Now I'm more determined than ever. Concerned about that knee comment though. What say you BT?






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