Arthritis and running

Hello, i have osteoarthritis of the spine and a herniated disc in the lumber area of my back. I absolutely love jogging but i do get a lot of pain when i do this. Is it safe to carry on jogging and work through the pain by slowing down and jogging/walking intermittently, or am i doing myself actual physical damage? Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you


  • chrisb
    chrisb Moderator Posts: 613

    Hi @Jessica and welcome to the Versus Arthritis forum.

    You have OA of the spine plus a herniated disc in the lumbar area of your back. You experience a lot of pain when you go jogging and are concerned that this activity might be doing more harm than good.

    I hope that the combination of information available on our website plus input from forum members can provide you with the feedback you’re looking for.

    These links should be a good place to start:

    If you haven’t already done so it might be worth discussing with your GP or a medical specialist. When I was diagnosed with OA in the spine the consultant told me to avoid impact sports such as tennis and running and change to activities such as swimming instead. Having said this, everyone’s situation is unique so advice you receive may be totally different.

    No doubt there will be forum members who will be able to offer advice.

    Please do interact fully with the forum topics where you feel it appropriate.

    If at any time you fell it would be useful then please do call our free Helpline on 0800 5200 520, or email [email protected] (Mon - Fri 9:00am – 8:00pm) if you ever feel they could be of help.

    Best Wishes

    ChrisB (Moderator)

    Need more help - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,730

    High impact exercise will inflame the tissues around the affected joints, so probably best avoided. For example, I have OA in my hips, and even just ONE step of running, eg trying to nip across the road, is intensely painful and stops me in my tracks (not great half way across the road with a bus bearing down on you). If I have come down heavily on my worst leg or just used it too much, it can take several days for the pain to ease.

    but my sister wrecked her knees as a fitness instructor for 30 years, and her doc took the view that the damage was already done, ruining them a bit more wasn’t going to change the outcome, ie new knees, so she kept taking the painkillers and carried on till it was time for surgery. Two new knees later she’s till teaching classes, but she does try to minimise the high impact stuff.

    I’d talk this through with your GP/physio, they know your particular condition best and are better placed to advise you.

  • Jessica
    Jessica Member Posts: 3

    @Lilymary @Chris thank you for ur responses. I guess it is a balance between the pros of exercise and causing damage/pain. I also find i get massive pain when eating the wrong foods, so hopefully if i can manage my inflammation levels through diet too this will help

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,887

    Hi @Jessica

    with a herniated disc?😮

    I don't think I would be running at all, but walking definitely.