Running Injuries and Prevention
With the marathon season upon us . . .
. . . it is important to make sure you finish the race injury free. Running can place high demands on the body leading to stressed tissues resulting in injuries. Common injuries encountered during running include overuse injuries, muscle tears, plantar fascitis and runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a common injury encountered by many runners especially when increasing your load. There are many factors which can cause this including running form, biomechanics, incorrect trainers and flexibility. To try prevent this happening you can get a biomechanical assessment of your gait and running style – we are offering to everyone reduced orthotic assessment for the month of October 2016 – avail of €20 by calling us on 015310007 to book your appointment.
The most common overuse running injuries . . .
. . . include bone stress fractures, tendinopathies and muscle strains. These can be avoided by slowly increasing your load and not letting niggles remain untreated. Your physiotherapist has many tests and treatments to accurately diagnose and treat these issues. Simply resting an injured area will not result in pain-free running. Through your assessment your physiotherapist will diagnose the issue and provide you with the best treatment to get you back running as soon as possible. Muscle tightness and imbalances can also lead to overload and pain. Regular foam rolling, stretching and strength programs help keep this to a minimum. If you have a recurring tightness or muscle strain it is important to get it checked out. At Physiocare we will assess strength and flexibility and look at your functionally in running to help diagnose and address the issue. Through physiotherapy and functional rehabilitation programs we can eliminate aches and pains stopping you from achieving your best.
Cramping may be an issue . . .
. . . on longer runs and is likely caused by an imbalance in electrolytes. Water fountains are hard to come by on race day, so be prepared. Make sure you are balancing your water with salts and electrolytes, much more important in the warmer weather and in longer runs. A strength based program will help you deal with the demands of marathon running. Working on hip stability, lower limb strength and eccentric loading will all benefit your running and allow you to better meet the demands of various surfaces and rolling hills. Working on lumbar flexibility and strength will also help reduce the stress on the back while running up/down hill. Post injury return to sport is very important to monitor and progress. Gradual loading and continuing rehabilitation programs will allow you to get back faster and stronger from running injuries. Remember if you are heading out on a run after an injury, don’t go too far out as you will have to make it back, it’s no fun having to hobble 5km back to your house. Post run massage can also help in overall recovery management getting you ready for your next run.
Remember when you are training for your racing or enjoying recreational runs:
• Gradual increasing running load (remember the 10% rule – only increasing by 10% of what you have already done!)
• Foam rolling and stretching regularly
• Get little niggles checked as soon as they pop up
• Add in swimming, cycling or some cross training
• Most of all have fun and enjoy
by Chartered Physiotherapist Aine O’Connor