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Are Treadmills Bad For Knees, Ankles, Back, And Joints? Here’s Our Answer

While many people consider treadmills to be the ultimate in low-impact workouts, there is some evidence that suggests running indoors may be bad for your body. Running on harder surfaces like asphalt or concrete may increase the impact of stress on your knees, ankles, and hips.

However, running on softer surfaces such as dirt or grass is thought to be equally or less impactful than running on a treadmill. (This is likely because most people don’t pick up their feet when they run on grass and dirt, and so consequently they don’t land as softly as they do when they run on the treadmills.)

Are treadmills bad for knees, ankles, back, and joints? The short answer is yes, treadmills are bad for everything.

You risk injury not only to the knee, back, ankle joints but also to the shoulders, arms, and hands. The longer answer is why, and how, and what you can do about it.

Over the past few years, treadmills have become a popular choice for individuals who want to lose weight, get in shape, or exercise. And while treadmills have many advantages, there are some serious risks and dangers associated with their use. Let’s take a look at why treadmills can be bad for your knees, ankles, back, and joints.

How Can Treadmill Cause Injury to Knees, Ankles, Back, and Joints

While working out on the treadmill can be effective for weight loss, people often injure themselves while using it. One of the main causes of treadmill injuries is poor posture. Without putting in extra effort to keep your posture in check, you may not notice you are causing damage to your body.

If you can’t keep your posture in check while running, you might be more likely to damage your ankles, knees, or back.

Impact on Knees

Treadmills are a great way to get fit without leaving the comfort of your home, but using one can have a negative effect on your knees. Treadmills typically put more stress on the knees than other activities. Repeated stress is a major cause of osteoarthritis in the knees.

According to a study done by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the treadmill is one of the most effective machines for strengthening the quadriceps muscles in the anterior compartment of the thigh, but it places a lot of stress on the patellofemoral joint (the joint where the kneecap rests on the thighbone).

How to Reduce Treadmill Injuries

Treadmill running is a popular way to exercise in the home, but it can also be one of the most painful if runners don’t take the right precautions. The treadmill is one of the few pieces of exercise equipment where the user controls the speed and incline. This makes it a great way to control the intensity, but it also means you can push yourself too hard, too fast, and suffer an injury.

Here are some tips for making the most out of treadmill running without injuring yourself.

  • Proper posture
  • Minimize impact
  • Wear proper shoes
  • Warm-up and Cool-down

Proper Posture

While running on a treadmill can be an effective way to get in your cardio, it is also one of the most common ways to get a treadmill injury. To avoid injury, you should always be aware of your posture and the way that you are running.

To avoid getting injured, here are a few tips for maintaining proper posture when running on a treadmill: 

1.  Make sure that your posture is upright and that your head is facing forward, as this will help you to maintain balance.

2.  Keep your back straight and your shoulders back, as this will help to support your spine.

Wear Proper Shoes

Running on a treadmill is a great way to stay active, but if you’re not careful, it can also lead to major injuries. If you don’t already own a pair of cushioned running shoes, consider buying a pair to reduce the risk of injury. Running shoes offer more support than regular shoes, and they also cushion your feet from the impact of running on a hard surface.

When you’re running on the treadmill, you may not be able to rely on the uneven terrain as your body for balance. This is why it’s important to wear proper shoes to reduce treadmill injuries.

Running shoes are designed for natural movement, which means they’re flexible to allow for each foot to roll in a way that doesn’t put your body at risk. They’re also designed for shock absorption and stability—features that can keep your ankles and knees from being overworked.

Minimize Impact

It’s a given that you want to minimize your impact to reduce treadmill injuries. But what does that mean? It means to minimize your jarring, pounding and pounding effects to your joints and bones. In other words, you do not want to run on those running machines like you run on the sidewalk or road. The only way to reduce treadmill injuries is to take it slow.

Warm-up and Cool-down

If you love to run, there’s no better way to get in your exercise. But it’s important to take precautions when you run to avoid injuries. When you’re running on a treadmill, you can get injured if you fail to warm up and cool down properly. It’s important to warm up before running to avoid injuries.

A warm-up gets your muscles ready for exercise and helps prevent strains. It’s also important to cool down after your run. A cool down helps your body recover from exercise and can help stave off soreness.

Injuries are a very common occurrence when you are trying to lose weight. There are many different problems that you could be encountering, but a lot of them are caused by improper warm-up and cool-down. Injuries can be caused by sudden movements, and the larger and stronger the muscles get, the more likely you are to experience injuries.

The best way to avoid injuries is to break into a light sweat before you start your workout and to slowly decrease the intensity of your workout when you are done.

Last Words

Over the years, certain types of exercise have developed a reputation for being more dangerous than others, whether it’s weight lifting, cycling or running. But one group of exercises may be more dangerous than most: treadmills. According to the Journal of Sports Medicine, treadmill injuries have been on the rise over the last two decades, and even experienced runners can suffer serious injuries when they’re not careful.

Randy Lucas

Randy Lucas

Randy here - Fitness enthusiast and avid runner - besides running I also love playing with my two German Shepherds Peter and Bruce - oh and I love cooking. I am the Webmaster over at where I ramble about all things fitness in an effort to make the world a healthier place.