Rheumatoid Arthritis and Running: Does it damage your joints?

Female RunnerA recent article published by NPR titled, “Put Those Shoes on: Running Won’t Kill your Knees” suggests that running might not cause the damage to joints that we once thought it did.

Seeing as though I was somewhat of a runner prior to my Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) diagnoses, I started researching the topic immediately. What I’ve found suggests that if one were to start training slowly and gradually increase their distance and speed over an extended period of time, they could see more benefit than harm to their joints in the long run.

In fact, one of the studies discussed in the NPR article compared two different knee types. The first group of knees had arthritis and didn’t run while the second group had arthritis and continued to run. The second group that remained active had less joint damage than the group who avoided running all together.

Being the skeptic that I am, I began testing this theory last week. So far, I’ve done a few short jogs around the neighborhood. Right now, I’m at about 1-mile and am not experiencing after work-out pains. Let’s just hope that keeps up and that those nasty flare-ups stay away.


4 thoughts on “Rheumatoid Arthritis and Running: Does it damage your joints?

    1. So sorry to hear that! Hopefully, you can find some other sort of activity that’s less stressful on your body. best of luck to you! I think the main message to share with people is that staying active is important. Whether that means yoga, swimming, running, walking, whatever, we cannot continue to live sedentary lives.


  1. I am 46 years old, I was diagnosed with RA two years ago, my doctor told me not to run so I did not run for a year and a half, then I started to run uphills because the impact is less, now I run 4 miles 3 times a week, I’ve run half marathons, I take 20 mg of metrotexate 3 times in a month. I suggest to start slowly and not long runs, then you can go farther.


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