Does running on road bad for knees?

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Working out for 10 years | Has a home gym | CPD (UK) Certificate holder in Fitness

Does running on road bad for knees – should you do it at all? – what shoe is the best

There are two types of runners knee: IT band syndrome & patellofemoral pain. 

IT band syndrome is a condition that results from the use of the iliotibial band, which is a ligament on the outside of the thigh. 

Patellofemoral pain is a condition that results from using the joints more when running on hard surfaces. This condition is also known as runner’s knee and is very common in runners.

A good shoe with a strong midsole and heel support should be good for running on the road.

Here are some road running shoes that you should consider.

Does running on road bad for knees

Is running bad for your knees?

Running is not bad for your knees. However, other factors such as running with bad form and running too much can cause knee pain or injury.

You should always consult a doctor before starting any new exercise routine to make sure you are doing everything correctly and safely.

Running is a great way to get in shape, but it can be tough on your knees if you’re not doing it correctly. 

Make sure you have good running form, find the right shoes for your feet, and run on softer surfaces whenever possible. 

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With a bit of effort, you can make running less hard on your knees and enjoy the benefits of this healthy activity.

The science of running and its effects on the knees is mixed. Some studies suggest that running is bad for your knees and can damage cartilage, while other studies show that running has many potential benefits for cartilage. 

But too much running is not a good idea.

Additionally, excessive running can have negative effects on joint cartilage, but there is no increased risk in running simply for fitness or recreational purposes.

Though running on the road is considered bad for your knees, the science behind it is still inconclusive. 

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Some studies have shown that there is a small risk for knee osteoarthritis in high-volume and high-intensity runners. However, more research is needed to determine whether or not genetics or epigenetics play a role in runners and non-runners developing knee OA. 

Things that can make running harder on your knees

Poor running form:

Poor running form is often the main culprit when it comes to runners experiencing pain in their knees. Improper alignment and technique can put extra stress on the joints, which can lead to long-term damage. To protect your knees, be mindful of your posture and make sure to land softly with every step.

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Bad shoes:

One of the biggest variables that can make running harder on your knees is bad shoes. If you’re not wearing the right shoes for your foot type, you can increase your risk of developing knee pain while running.

Apart from the perfect grip, you should get shoes that are from brands like Nike, Reebok etc. The running shoes from these brands have a good quality midsole, rubber soles, and heel support.

Running on hard surfaces:

When you’re running, the impact of your foot hitting the ground is distributed among a few factors-the surfaces you’re running on, your shoes, and your stride. 

Of these, the surface you run on has the biggest impact on how hard that impact is. Roads are generally harder than dirt paths or grass, so they can be more damaging to your knees.

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Warning signs your knees may need attention


One of the most common warning signs that your knees may need attention is arthritis. Arthritis changes how your knee responds to exercise, so you may need to adapt the amount or type of running you do. 

If you experience pain in your knees after running, consult a doctor to see if you should make any changes to your routine.


If you experience pain, swelling or stiffness in your knees after running, it’s time to adjust your routine.

If you experience any of the following symptoms after running, it’s time to take a closer look at your knees and see if there are any adjustments you need to make to your routine. It is possible that these warning signs indicate that your knees need attention, and you should consult a doctor.

Always listen to what your knees are telling you and don’t push yourself too hard.

Though running is a great way to maintain your health, you should always listen to what your knees are telling you. If you experience pain, swelling, or stiffness in your knees, it’s best not to push yourself too hard and to seek medical attention. 

By doing so, you can prevent further damage and keep your knees healthy for years to come.

Pain that gets worse when you walk, climb stairs, or squat is also signs of something like patella pain. Which I have, and you should do more straight leg raises, Peterson step down and take a rest.

You should consult a physiotherapist for these workouts and with time you will feel better.

Popping Noise:

Knees that make a popping noise are not dangerous unless there is pain associated with them. Knees that are always stiff or swollen are also a bad sign.

Mobility Issues:

One of the most common signs that your knees may need attention is if you are unable to straighten the leg, especially after sitting for a long time. You should also look out for swelling and excessive pain as these could be indicative of a problem with your knees.

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Tips for protecting your knees when you run

Knees are the most important joints in the body and are also the most common site of injury. Therefore, it is important to be aware of certain knee-friendly running techniques and how to protect your knees when you run.

  • Patellofemoral pain is a common problem that can be caused by running with your knees turned in.
  • Overuse or poor running form can cause the kneecap to tighten and rub against the thighbone, causing pain.
  • To protect your knees, make sure you run with good form and don’t overdo it.
  • Wear knee pads to protect your knees when you run.
  • Choose the right type of knee pad for your needs.
  • Wear a brace if you have a history of knee injuries.
  • Warm-up before you run.
  • Stretch after you run.
  • Drink plenty of water while you run.
  • Avoid running on hard surfaces whenever possible

From my experience, I would always warm up first and do my stretching after sprints. I do not run for long hours since that burns my muscles. I am a skinny guy, so that does not work for me.

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Running on a concrete footpath can injure your body.

Jogging on a concrete footpath can cause many injuries. The terrain of Indian roads is not suitable for running. If you run without any preparation, you are bound to get injured. Especially if you have arthritis.

Then the rate of your knee joints going bad will be significantly higher.

Is Trail Running Better for the Knees?

No, trail running can be very damaging to the knees. Trail running is typically done on uneven surfaces and over long distances with steep grades. The repetitive impact of running downhill can put a lot of pressure on the knees, causing them to become sore and inflamed.

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Running is a great way to stay active and healthy, but it may be harder for people with arthritis. People who have arthritis should talk to their doctor about what activities are appropriate for them.

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Benefits of running on the road

Running is a great way to get in shape and stay healthy. It has many benefits, including improved heart health, stronger bones, and weight loss. 

Additionally, running on a road is better for your knees than running on a treadmill or track. The hard surface of the road helps to cushion your knees and prevents them from becoming too stiff or sore.

A study published in Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews found that aerobic exercise promotes skeletal muscle growth. 

The study looked at the effects of road running and treadmill running on skeletal muscle size and strength.

  • Running outdoors on the road will make you more alert and improve your fitness.
  • Running on the road will make you stronger.
  • This will improve your heart health and will improve your stamina.
  • Might help with weight loss, especially if you do it in the mornings.

Disadvantages of running on road

If you are not wearing a running shoe and not taking care of your legs by resting, stretching, and warming up, then your knee might ache sooner.

And another con is that running on the road, you have to take a quiet road. Otherwise, you will have to be careful about the ongoing traffic. And that might get dangerous quickly.

You might switch to a treadmill for indoor usages. Be sure to pick a treadmill with incline feature.


Does running on the road bad for knees? Mostly yes. Running carelessly on road is dangerous from traffic. And if you find a lonely road then you will have to take care of the next items. These include wearing a stable shoe that will absorb the impact.

Then you have to start with warming up and regular stretching to stay nimble. And you have to drink a lot of water and eat healthily. Otherwise, you will even lose your muscles by running a lot.

I would rather tell you to get an automatic treadmill and do HIIT training at home for muscle gain and cardio health.

Ref: Home Gym India on Youtube


Working Out for 10 years | Owns a home gym |Certificate course done on Improving Aerobic Fitness, Diet | CPD (UK) Accredited Certification on Fitness

🥊 About The Skinny Author

Yo Friends, this is Samarjit! A skinny guy who is building his tiny home gym.

I have successfully gained 10 kgs in 10 months going to commercial gyms. And I have been working out on and off for about 10+ years now.

I have gone swimming, done martial arts, Olympic lifts and body building type workouts!

I cancelled the gym subscription as I was more into making my home gym for workout. And getting ready, then getting my cycle and ride to the commercial gym seemed a drag after 10 hours in the office.

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