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  • Writer's pictureLuke Nelson

Is running bad for the hips?

We should all know by now that running does NOT lead to wear & tear of the knees, & is actually beneficial for knee health. But what about the hip joints?

Well, from the same research group that brought us the knee OA studies, we now have the answer!

Study 1: Regular ultramarathon distance running does not add damage to your hips.

Involving 52 participants, this first study compared the hip joint MRIs of inactive non-runners, moderately active runners & highly active runners. The imaging findings were not significantly different among these populations, suggesting that long-distance running may not add further damage to the hip joints.

Study 2: First-time marathon running does not damage or acutely change your hips

This second study took a group of runners (n=28) performing their first marathon, all with no known hip injuries. They had an MRI performed on both their hips at 16 weeks BEFORE, & 2 weeks AFTER the marathon. The comparison scans demonstrated no acute changes after marathon running.

The results of these studies should provide reassurance to runners, non-runners & health professionals that running will NOT damage their hips, & align with previous research debunking the myth of "running will wear out your knees".

With more research to come from this group, we look forward to further confirmation that running is indeed good for the hips!

If you are a runner and need help with your hip pain, please don't hesitate to contact us!


  • Horga LM, Henckel J, Fotiadou A, et al. Can marathon running improve knee damage of middle-aged adults? A prospective cohort study. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2019;5(1):e000586. Published 2019 Oct 16.

  • Horga LM, Hirschmann AC, Henckel J, et al. Prevalence of abnormal findings in 230 knees of asymptomatic adults using 3.0 T MRI. Skeletal Radiol. 2020;49(7):1099-1107.

  • Horga LM, Henckel J, Fotiadou A, et al. Is the immediate effect of marathon running on novice runners' knee joints sustained within 6 months after the run? A follow-up 3.0 T MRI study. Skeletal Radiol. 2020;49(8):1221-1229.

  • Horga LM, Henckel J, Fotiadou A, Di Laura A, Hirschmann A, Hart A. 3.0 T MRI findings of 104 hips of asymptomatic adults: from non-runners to ultra-distance runners. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2021;7(2):e000997. Published 2021 May 21.

  • Horga LM, Henckel J, Fotiadou A, Di Laura A, Hirschmann AC, Hart AJ. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Hips of Runners Before and After Their First Marathon Run: Effect of Training for and Completing a Marathon. Orthop J Sports Med. 2021;9(7):23259671211010405. Published 2021 Jul 26.

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