Did you know 45-50% of runners experience an injury that affects their ability to run every year. 25-30% experience greater than one injury in a given year. We’ve noticed an increase in running related injuries of late and want to talk about this today.
If you’re a runner, or you’ve recently started running or increased your training load and you’re concerned about injury, keep listening today to find out the best way to get back to injury-free running.
So us runners seem to be at increased risk of injury. This is because the forces going through your body are so high. The ankle experiences 8-10 x your body weight, your knee experiences 4-6 x your weight and your hip 1.5 – 3 x your weight.
The location of the injury changes depending on your age. Younger runners (<40 years old) are more likely to sustain bone or cartilage injuries while the more mature aged runners (>40) are more likely to sustain soft tissue injuries.
So what to do if you have a running related injury?
Most people rest. They stop running for a few days or weeks and the pain goes away. Then they return to running their normal program and the pain comes back. Does this sound familiar?
What is happening here?
Well the muscles and the bones in your body are a bit like goldilocks. They dislike too much activity and they dislike too little activity. But the sweet spot is working a little harder than the muscles are capable of but not so hard they can’t recover and strengthen afterwards.
When you completely rest after an activity your body thinks it doesn’t need the strength you had previously built and you lose it. So returning to your previous activity levels is now actually overloading your body.
If you shouldn’t just rest to recover, what should you do?
- Find a way to adjust your running training so you can ideally keep running.
With some injuries like bone stress fractures you should stop all running until it heals. But it is possible and even helpful to run through other injuries, provided you can reduce the pain by strategies such as taping or orthotics, or adjusting your running program to avoid things that would aggravate your injury.
- Start a strengthening program to improve your muscle and bone strength
Strengthening weak muscles can protect the injured area and prevent recurrence of symptoms. The type of strength exercises depends on the area of your injury
- Gradually return to your usual running training.
This involves weaning you off the tape or orthotics and gradually adjusting your running distance, speed and incline until to return to your pre injury state
This process can seem a bit daunting at the start but as physio’s we are here to guide you through this process. We can assess your injury, determine what pain relief strategies are appropriate to keep you running and develop an individually tailored strength program to help you reach your running goals pain free.
So if you have a running related injury or have recurring injuries that impact your running book an appointment today and we’ll be able to answer your questions and get you the help you need.