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Can I Run With A Degenerative Meniscus Tear?

activelifestyle exerciseprogramming kneepain physicaltherapy running strengthtraining Dec 21, 2021

 While there are many things that need to be taken into consideration given that everyone’s situation is different, the answer is often a resounding YES! Degenerative meniscus tears can sound quite scary, but in reality they’re actually a very normal part of the aging process. The same way that we start to get gray hair and wrinkly skin as we grow older, we often find that meniscus tears are just a part of aging. This is made more apparent by the countless studies that have shown that as people get older, the more likely they are to have some sort of meniscus tear (although they had no pain and never even knew they had them!).


Another common question we get: Will running wear out my knees? The answer in most cases is no. A recent study done in 2021 found that a moderate amount of running had no detrimental effects on knee cartilage in the long term and in fact, demonstrated IMPROVED cartilage heath in those that ran regularly. 


So what does this mean? This can give you hope that you don’t necessarily need to have a “perfect” meniscus or need to automatically resort to surgery to “fix” your meniscus in order to get out of pain and get back to running. Given that you don’t have severe locking, catching, or other mechanical symptoms, you can definitely get back to running through exercises that are focused on reducing your pain, improving your function, and slowly improving the capacity of your knee to tolerate the demands of running.


Here are a few exercises you can start with on your journey back to running:


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