Yalich Clinic – Running Injury Prevention Tips
Running Injury Prevention Tips
From the Doctors of the Yalich Clinic Performance and Rehab Center in Glen Burnie
We have helped with many races and worked with many runners this summer. There is no one reason why runners get injured, but there several factors that play a role in most runner injuries. Factors include muscle weakness, inadequate flexibility, training errors, poor or incorrect running shoes, and poor or abnormal biomechanics.
Wear Properly Fitted Shoes: Shoes are the most important piece of equipment that you need to run, so having a pair that fits you properly is crucial to your running success. To find the right shoe for your feet, go to a specialty running store. As a general rule, shoes should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles.
Cross-Train: Use cross-training activities to supplement your running, improve your muscle balance, and keep you injury-free. Swimming, cycling, yoga, Pilates, elliptical training, and rowing will burn a lot of calories and improve your aerobic fitness.
RICE: RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. When you’ve got muscle aches or joint pains, these four things are best for immediate treatment. These measures can relieve pain, reduce swelling, and protect damaged tissues, all of which speed healing.
Build Mileage Gradually: Probably the number one cause of running injuries is when runners do too much, too soon, too fast. The body needs time to adapt from training changes and jumps in mileage or intensity. Build your weekly training mileage by no more than 5 to 10 percent per week.
Strength Training: Strength training helps to keep your body properly aligned while you are running. It is particularly important to strengthen the core and the hip muscles. Strength training should be performed at least 2 times a week.
Stretching: Stretching should be an important component to any runner’s routine. Runners tend to be tight most notably the hamstrings, calf and hip flexor muscles and in turn, they get injured in those areas or in their lower back. Do not do static stretches before running. Static Stretching is best done after a warm-up period of 10 to 15 minutes after your muscles are warm, or at the end of your workout. Dynamic stretching can be performed prior to running. Stretching should be comfortable and relaxing, never painful.
If you are hurt: Light activity, especially within pain-free limits, may speed healing. Use common sense; if activity causes a great increase in pain, STOP! Bed rest and immobilization are often is the worst things you can do.
Feel free to call us or consult with a doctor that is knowledgeable about running and your condition! You want to get better faster and healthier, focusing on the eliminating or limiting the cause of pain.