The wrong running technique can undoubtedly cause knee strain and recurrent knee abuse can lead to osteoarthritis (Main cause of knee strain is wrong running technique, not surface of park connector paths, Jan 19).
There is also a genetic component to the development of osteoarthritis.
People who are obese have greater force exerted on their joints, which may hence cause them to wear out faster.
Doing too much, too soon and too fast can also lead to premature and irreversible knee damage.
Certain jogging surfaces are also more detrimental to knee integrity.
For joint longevity, a regularly textured and softer surface is preferable. My advice to my patients to use stadium tracks instead of cross-country routes for their exercise has helped many of them to ease their knee woes.
No matter the surface, brisk walking is far kinder on the joints than running.
The healthiest among my octogenarian patients have never run a single kilometre continuously before on whatever surface. They are free of joint pain and have full mobility.
Their secret formula is maintaining a healthy body weight, being active throughout their lives, and moving around to fulfil their purposes in life rather than single-mindedly pursuing exercise achievement goals.
Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)