avoid running injuries sports physiotherapy

RUN or REST: preventing common running injuries


Preventing common running injuries

Many runners will experience injury at some point in their running career. Most injuries sustained by runners are, what are termed ‘overuse’ or ‘repetitive strain’ injuries. Most of these are minor and will not affect them greatly. But there could be others, that could threaten to prevent them from enjoying their sport temporarily or, in the worst cases, permanently.  The top 5 most common running injuries include :

  1. Runners knee (Knee pain)
  2. Plantar fasciitis (Foot and Heel pain)
  3. ITB friction syndrome (Outside of the Thigh pain)
  4. Shin Splints (Shin bone pain)
  5. Achilles tendon injury (Back of the Ankle and Heel pain)

It is important for first time runners to follow strengthening exercise regime apart from a progressive running schedule. If your body is not strong enough, or if you follow bad training practice, this can often result in overuse injuries.

How does one prevent them?

  • Improve and maintain your muscular flexibility by stretching exercises
  • Keep up with Muscle strengthening exercises
  • Increase your mileage gradually and periodize your training schedules
  • Cross train
  • Wear the correct type of running shoes based on your foot type and running technique
  • Never ignore Rest days
  • Stay hydrated and eat a well balanced diet

If you do feel your legs are heavy and tired while running and you’re carrying a niggle that you’re worried could become more serious. It’s best to stop and rest for a few days, giving the body a chance to recover at an early stage itself.

Running Injury : WARNING signs and Care

Marathon runners push the body’s limit to increase their exercise capacity. But they shouldn’t ignore the vital signs of injury andRunning Injuries- Warning signs and care learn to differentiate a serious injury from a minor one.

This article is an attempt to make the runners aware of the general thumb rules about running related injuries.

Warning Signs of Injury

What pain is ok?

• General muscle soreness

• Slight joint discomfort after workout or next day that is gone in 24 hours

• Slight stiffness at beginning of run or walk that goes away after first 10 minutes

What pain is not okay? (You should not train!)

• Pain that is keeping you awake at night

• Pain that is evident at beginning of run/walk then becomes worse as run/walk continues

• Pain that changes your stride/ style of run

What to do if I get reinjured / injured?

• Ice area: 15-20 minutes several times per day  (RICE Protocol)

• Elevate injured part while icing

• Rest (at least initially)

• Analyze program for possible causes

o What did I do differently in training?                                                     reliva- the official Physiotherapy Partner for Navi Mumbai Mayor's Marathon

o Big jump in speed of running?

o Significant pace increase?

o Shoes worn out? Or change in shoe model?

o Change from all treadmill or soft surface to road running?

• Cross-train on non-impact cardio – follow similar minutes that you were doing running/walking (elliptical or swimming or cycling)

• Determine plan to return to full program, return to running very slowly

• Physical therapist and/or orthopedic

Warning Signs of Overtraining

• Difficulty performing typical workouts for more than a week

• Excessive fatigue

• Higher resting heart rate

• Decreased appetite

• Sorer muscles

• Troubled sleep

• Irritability

• Increased perspiration

• Decreased desire to train

Whether you happened to injure yourself by accident or by over training, do not lose heart. If you reach out to a trained physiotherapist soon enough after the injury, the chances are that you can recover much faster  and get back to your training than if you just sit back and wait for it to heal itself.

These guidelines should not take the place of medical advice if attempting to return to sports following an injury. If an athlete requires assistance during or in the progression of a return to sport program they should consult with their medical expert, or physiotherapist.

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