Linking biomechanical and imaging outcomes to better understand the effects of running on knee joint health


Physical activity has been widely recognized as an important treatment approach for knee osteoarthritis (OA); however, little is known about the effects of running with this condition. Previous studies have suggested healthy knee cartilage has the ability to become stronger immediately after running in the short-term, but it remains unclear if unhealthy knee cartilage would react the same.


To investigate the effects of running on individuals with knee osteoarthritis, including response of cartilage immediately following a run, as well as following a 12-week running program increasing running volume.

Who can participate?

We are currently recruiting men and women aged 40 years and older with or without knee OA who have been running at least twice per week for a total of at least 10 km for a minimum of 12 months. You must be comfortable running on a treadmill for at least 30 minutes. You may be included in the group of runners with knee OA if you have experienced knee pain for at least 3 months during your daily activities (not just during running) and show evidence of knee OA on x-ray. You may be included in the group of runners without knee OA if you have no evidence of knee OA on x-ray. If you do not have recent x-ray images of your knees, they will be obtained to determine your study eligibility.

What is required?

To determine study eligibility, you will be required to attend a 30-minute biomechanical gait screen and an x-ray screening for knee OA. Once your study eligibility is confirmed, the study will consist of a 12-week running program that is focused on gradually increasing your weekly running amounts, tailored to your current running habits. Before and after this 12-week program, you will have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of your knee before and after running on a treadmill. You will also undergo an assessment of your running patterns in a motion analysis laboratory.

To register your interest in our study, please complete the eligibility form by clicking here.