When it comes down to it, running injuries occur because of 3 things:
1. Structural Problems
An example of this is decreased ankle flexibility, poor hip muscle strength, or the lack of hip motion
2. Training Errors
An example of this is too much, too soon, overtraining, starting a running program to fast. If your current level is a level 4 you will be fine with workloads at or below a level 4 workload. But lets say to try to run a 10 K race (level 6 workload) at your current level. This = overload and biomechanics break down, you reach fatigue, and you increase your injury risk.
3. Biomechanical Errors
An example of this is poor hip strength causing a genu valgus (knock knee) to occur at the knee causing knee pain. Poor running form , overstriding, etc can also cause this
5 Keys to Prevent Running Injuries
1. Listen to your body when running in pain
Pain is your bodies way to tell you something is wrong. Listen to your body. The sooner to correct it, the sooner you will return to pain free running
2. Do not take NSAIDS when Running with an injury
Runner’s should never take NSAIDS, advil, naproxen, aleve, or anti-inflammatories when running. Not only is this blocking the pain so you do not feel it, but it also alters prostandin production in your GI tract. Chronic usage of these meds with runners can lead to gastric leakage into your blood stream and this is toxic. Solve the problem that is causing your pain, and you pain will resolve.
3. Maintain good flexibility for running
I am not a big stretcher, but you do need to maintain good hip and ankle flexibility. A hip flexor stretch and calf/soleus stretching can help with this
4. You must have good hip strength when running training
This is a must with runner’s. Remember, running is a single legged sport so you must have good hip and single leg strength. Here are my 3 favorite exercise that must be mastered pain free.
SLR – 3 x 15
SL Squats – 3 x 10 pain free
Lateral walks – 3 laps pain free
5. foam rolling when training for a running race
This is great to help overcome a heavy training period and simple to do at home. This is not an end all be all though. Remember trigger points are caused by overloading a weak muscle. So if you just foam roll, you are only solving half of the problem. Strengthening of the affected muscles is needed to truly resolve this problem.
I hope this educates you on running injuries and gives you some things to help prevent a running injury. If you are dealing with a running injury and a pain that is not going away, call us at 407-494-8835 and we can get you in for an evaluation as soon as possible. Are treatment outcomes with running injuries are excellent and we will do our best to get you back in the fewest visits and back to pain free running with our Running Injury Program