Question

Asked 5 years, 4 months ago

Should I call it quits?

Until about three years ago, I’d been running for 20 years, 20 to 25 miles per week. I did a couple of marathons in my 50s. I’m now 68 years old, 6' 1" and 170 pounds (male). I only run 3 miles 2 or 3times a week, and occasionally ride a bike. I have arthritis in my lower back. A recent X-ray found “near complete loss of disc at L3-L4 with additional disc narrowing at L4-L5. There are ventral and lateral osteophytes at L3-L4 with a vacuum cleft identified. There is mild retrolisthesis of L4 on L5. Some proliferative or sclerotic changes of the L4-L5 and L5-S1 facet joints are likely.” I have morning stiffness and find myself bent over for a few steps after getting up from a sitting position, but I have no particular discomfort in my back while running. Am I aggravating or speeding the advance of the arthritis by running?

Richard Day, Raymond, ME

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