As one of the levels of endurance tests, running, most will say, needs a strong body and an even stronger will. Unfortunately, putting mind over matter may hurt the matter, and this applies to even the best. Accepting injuries as a part of any sport and their prevention is what you want to aim for.
It applies to any field that an injury, no matter how common and small, if left untreated, will bring bad news in the future. That said, running comes with its set of common injuries, all of which have a counter, mostly muscle training.
Preventive Measures to Avoid Running Injuries
Avoid Excessive Training
Yes, the sky is the limit. But you don’t need to get there right now. Attaining perfection by pushing yourself is good, but only till any training stops being beneficial. Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all. Take it step by step, hold logic above all else. Push only for a little time after you reach your limits. Overdoing it may cause muscle strain or tear.
Maintain Warm Up Exercises
No matter how fired up you are, you must do the entire warm up routine before you start on any long distance running or sprinting. The warm up may vary depending on the kind of running you’re about to do. It is advisable to maintain a regular warm up schedule, even on the days you’re not working out. This ensures a loose body even if you return to it after some time.
Buy the Right Shoes
Buying the right kind of shoes that provide a sturdy footing while allowing the maximum level of comfort is important. Make sure that you buy running shoes that fit well enough to not give you added problems for your lower body. Do not attempt anything hard until you’ve broken into your shoes.
Getting the Right Stride
Lunging is bad when you’re running. What happens is you end up jabbing your heel into the ground when your foot lands. This means to produce more resistance to running and also increasing your chances to injure your shin.
Maintain a Good Upper Body Form
Keep your hands at waist level, keep your elbows fixed and move your arms at your shoulders. Keep your back comfortably straight; don’t push your chest out too much or slouch too hard.
Treating Common Running Injuries
No matter what we do, injuries in any physical activity are inevitable. There are some common injuries and their treatments that everyone should know about.
This injury causes pain along the Achilles Tendon, also causing calf pain and stiffness. The aim here is to strengthen calf muscles. This can be treated by doing calf drops – stand on a flat surface (barefoot), on the balls of your feet. Lower one foot down by shifting your weight onto it. Raise the foot and repeat for the other foot. Perform this cycle for 10 times.
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the tissue on the lower side of the foot, felt more on the heel. You need to take a few days off from running and rest your feet. This reduces the inflammation. After that, you can strengthen your foot by doing this exercise – stand barefoot, on one foot, and curve the foot upwards, keeping only the heel, the big toe and the pinky toe in contact with the ground. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat for the other leg, repeating the cycle three times.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome
The most likely cause of Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is the overuse of the Iliotibial band, which runs from the hip to the shin, adding support to the leg muscle groups. ITBS means an inflammation of the band, which can also be caused due to incorrect training methods that stress out one leg more than the other. Symptoms include a shooting pain that starts from the heel every time you walk or run. If it’s a mild case of ITBS, rest up, use ice properly to soothe the band and take some mild anti-inflammatory medicine. In case the pain is severe, consult a doctor.
This causes pain on the insides of your shinbone and is caused due to injury to the tendons. The injury can be prevented by strengthening the muscles around the shinbone by doing the following – walk barefoot in one place on your heels, with the toes stretched as high as possible. Other than that, take complete rest till the inflammation subsides.
There are many more injuries that can happen while or due to excessive running. Training properly is the main way to reduce the chances of injury, without doing anything in excess.