So the weather is getting a little cooler but it is great weather to get outside and exercise. Whether you are a short distance or long distance marathoner, running can be a great low-cost exercise with good benefits at almost any age. The thrill of a good run and reaching your set goals, say like, running a half marathon, are exhilarating and make you feel great. However, with running, injuries can occur easily and are common. The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation reports that 70 percent of runners become injured while running. The most common injuries are caused by repetitive motion and stress on our joints. The more common injuries you may see include plantar fasciitis, runner’s knee, shin splints, Achilles tendinitis and IT band syndrome. Most injuries associated with running involved the hip, knee or ankle in some sort of fashion.
5 Ways to Help Avoid Running Injuries
1. Wear the proper foot wear. There are so many different types of shoes our there and it is so important to wear the correct style for your body. Your feet are the foundation for your body and are what come into contact with the surface you are running on. Find a pair that feels good while running and gives you good support but get rid of any shoes when they don’t make your feet feel good anymore. Specialty running stores can help find you the right type of shoes for your feet.
2. Vary your running surfaces. Dirt, gravel, and pavement/concrete are all surfaces that runners can run on but some are better than others. Harder surfaces like concrete or pavement can be harder on your joints, due to the force produced by the foot hitting the ground. They may be easier to run on but when picking the path to run or, think long term and softer surfaces.
3. Train Appropriately. Follow a training program that allows for different types of cross training or distance lengths so that you are building endurance and strength correctly while running injury free. Find a coach or running partner to help create a plan that you can enjoy and correctly run but also enjoy rest time because you body does require some down time.
4. Practice injury prevention. Injury can occur at any time but practicing injury prevention is very easy and important. Dynamic warm ups that mimic running is important. Active stretching the muscles before use creates a limber environment. Foam rolling is a great technique to stretch muscles but also as a cool down technique to push lactic acid out of sore muscles. Passive stretching is good to perform after running when cooling down.
5. Listen to your body and visit your chiropractor regularly. Your body is able of doing great things and can take a lot of stress before pain or injury occurs. When you begin to feel pain, listen to your body. Take a day off or examine your routine and see if there is something that needs to change. If the pain is present more than 3 days, seek medical advice from a medical profession, either chiropractor, medical doctor or physical therapist. The chiropractors at Fletcher Chiropractic specialize in sport and injury care and rehabilitation. Most of the time, when an injury is caught early, the cause can be corrected and the pain goes away quickly.
If you are already feeling “off” or are experiencing pain? Chiropractic care along with soft tissue rehab and functional exercise can help get you back running pain free but addressing both joint alignment and muscle imbalances, plus helping to build strength.
Most running and even sport injuries are preventable with the right prevention and strengthening routines. Give our office a call or send us an email if you have any questions. Stay calm and stay in motion.