Do the General Public and Health Care Professionals Think That Running Is Bad for the Knees? A Cross-sectional International Multilanguage Online Survey

Jean Francois Esculier, Manuela Besomi, Danilo de Oliveira Silva, Samuele Passigli, Michael Skovdal Rathleff, Marienke Van Middelkoop, Christian Barton, Michael J. Callaghan, Matthew S. Harkey, Alison M. Hoens, Natasha M. Krowchuk, Anthony Teoli, Bill Vicenzino, Richard W. Willy, Michael A. Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Running is a popular sport with widely recognized health benefits. Given the high rates of knee injury in runners and the growing prevalence of knee osteoarthritis (KOA), it may be useful to assess perceptions about running and knee joint health. Purpose: The objectives of this study were to (1) explore and compare the perceptions of the general public (PUB) and health care professionals (HCPs) on the topic of running and knee health and (2) explore recommendations about running and knee health provided by HCPs. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: We conducted an online survey between June 18 and October 1, 2020. The questionnaire included questions on running and knee health, and HCPs were asked about their typical recommendations and level of confidence in providing recommendations on the topic. Perceptions (proportions) were compared between the PUB and HCPs using the chi-square test. Results: In total, 4521 responses (PUB, n = 2514; HCPs, n = 2007) were analyzed. A greater proportion of HCPs perceived regular running as healthy for knees (86% vs 68%; P <.001). More of the PUB than HCPs (P <.001) believed that running frequently (29% vs 13%), long distances (54% vs 45%), and on hard surfaces (60% vs 36%) increased the risk of developing KOA. Running for those with KOA was perceived by the PUB as posing an increased risk of getting more knee pain (48%) and needing joint replacement surgery (38%), more so than by HCPs (26% and 17%, respectively). The majority of HCPs reported being relatively confident in providing evidence-based recommendations about running and knee health and mostly recommended that runners with KOA modify training parameters instead of quit. Conclusion: More HCPs perceived running as healthy for knees when compared with the PUB. Most HCPs felt confident in providing evidence-based recommendations about running and knee health.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume10
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Keywords

  • joint
  • osteoarthritis
  • physical activity
  • questionnaire

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