Knee health

Forum: The secret to being free from joint pain? Live normally

A runner jogging near The Promontory in Marina Bay area, on Aug 16, 2018.
A runner jogging near The Promontory in Marina Bay area, on Aug 16, 2018.PHOTO: ST FILE

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 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 what the surface is, 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)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 27, 2021, with the headline 'The secret to being free from joint pain? Live normally'. Subscribe