How to avoid common running injuries and how physiotherapy can help?
Running is a fantastic form of exercise. Not only is it a great way to lose body fat fast, but as a form of cardio exercise it really gets the heart pumping and releases those endorphins that leave you happy and energised.
However because it is a high-impact sport, it can lead to a wide variety of injuries. If you are prone to physical injuries, have weak ankles or knees or have problems with your lungs or heart you need to be especially careful. This being said exercise-induced injuries can affect anyone of any age and/or fitness.
So here at Estuary Clinic we thought we would give you a few tips on how to avoid running-induced injuries:
1) Listen to your Body
Paying attention to how your body feels is really important. Just like if your tummy grumbles your body is telling you that it needs food, if your body is in pain whilst running, it is telling you to slow down or even stop.
The phrase, ‘all the gear and no idea’ may ring a few bells to gym goers out there. We have all been witness to people who buy the new expensive kit with the fashionable logos, and think this will magically transform their fitness levels and body image. Although this is laughable, having the correct running shoes really is essential to avoiding injuries. Make sure you try a few trainers on and choose the most comfortable pair that fit properly. Your foot needs to be correctly supported so that it can endure the high impact of running.
3) Testing your Limits
It is always good to challenge and push yourself, however remember that your body has limits and once these are exceeded an injury will almost certainly be sustained. Over-training or over-competing is a common cause of running induced injuries. So, don’t be afraid to skip a session or two. The phrase ‘too much, too soon, too fast’ is one to bear in mind while you are running.
4) Warm up/Cool down
After a long day at work you may be rearing to go on your run, but make sure you take the time to warm up. This will prepare your muscles for what is to come. Dynamic stretching is advised when warming up, and static stretching for the cool down after your run. This will help to loosen your muscles and avoid future injuries.
Your body needs fuelling in order to function properly and effectively, and this is especially true if you are exercising regularly. The correct diet and nutrition can enhance muscle performance, optimise recovery, support the immune system, reduce fatigue and increase tissue recovery.
6) Seek Help
Always remember that no matter how regularly you exercise and how much you think you know about your own body, health and fitness, there is never any harm in seeking professional advice. If your body is in pain, there could be a simple explanation that a professional physiotherapist can give.
Physiotherapy is an essential component of athlete training. Specific stretching, training programmes and massages can really help to enhance recovery. Physiotherapy can also be used as a preventative strategy to reduce the risk of experiencing the same injury again.
If you are experiencing pain from running, or would like any more advice on how to avoid exercise-induced injuries through physiotherapy, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us here at Estuary Clinic where our expert physiotherapist’s can give you some sound and professional advice.