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Running Tips!

Are you training up for a marathon or running event?

We want to be part of your team to make sure you make it to the finish line – injury free!

Before you start pounding the pavement, we want you to be aware of ways to prevent or manage common running injuries. Training towards your big event might take months. This is a marathon, not a sprint!

Injury Prevention

Listen to your body . Consistent pain in muscles or joints that doesn’t get better with rest may need some special attention. Don’t push through this pain as often it can make it worse and cause long term problems and pain.

Warm-up and cool-down . All exercise, not just running, should commence with a warm-up and conclude with a cool-down.  A good warm-up should consist of 5-10 minutes of light aerobic work to slowly build up your heart rate. This causes dilation to your blood vessels allowing greater blood flow and oxygenation to your muscles. It also raises your muscles temperate making them more supple, flexible and efficient. Slowly increasing your heart rate will minimise the stress on your heart when you start your run.

Key stretches . During your cool-down is a great time to stretch as you have warmed up your muscles. Make sure you stretch both sides of your body, holding each stretch for 20-30seconds, and DON’T bounce in your stretch. Key areas to work on are calves, hamstrings, groin, quadriceps and gluteal (bottom) muscles.

Increase water consumption on days of exercise. An extra 1 Litre per hour of exercise.

Have a plan of attack. Ensure you have weekly increments of 10%, allowing time for your body to make physiological adaptations before taking on extra load. Have rest days from running – implement swimming or a yoga class to mix it up a little.  This will give your body the best way to be successful and injury free as possible!

Common injuries

Most of these injuries are caused by repetitive motion with high impact. With the right treatment plan and functional mobility and appropriate stretching, you should be back on the track as quick as you can say Usain Bolt.

Runners knee – patella tracking . This is where there is inflammation of the cartilage behind the kneecap (patella) with rubbing onto the femur/thigh bone. This causes pain in the front of the knee, especially when squatting or when using stairs –either going up or down stairs. Symptoms as well as pain can include, popping, clicking, grinding or a feeling of your kneecap slipping.

Achilles tendonitis. This is where there is inflammation in the Achilles tendon, the tendon and connective tissue that connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. This is the most common among athletes and is a type of overuse injury. Symptoms include pain in the back of the heel and lower calf with difficulty in walking, swelling and tenderness.

Plantar fasciitis . This is where there is inflammation to the connective tissue connecting your heel to your toes and helps to form the arch in your foot. Plantar fasciitis most commonly is worst in the mornings and can feel like you have a stone in your shoe. It also often causes pain as soon as you get out of bed in the morning or if you have been sitting for a long period of time as this is when your calf and foot muscles shorten, and hence when you go and move/weight bear and walk these muscles are put on immediate stretch and this is what causes pain to the already inflamed tissues.

Shin splints . This refers to pain felt anywhere along the shin bone from the ankle to the knee. This can cause aches during or after running and be quite tender to touch. It can be due to bone stress, microtears in the bone and muscle, as well as several other reasons!

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITB Syndrome) . Your iliotibial band (ITB) runs from the outside of your hip to your knee. Pain on the outside of the knee is the most common symptom and it caused by local inflammation of this band. It occurs due to the constant rubbing of the ITB over the side of the knee due to poor biomechanical loading through the hip, pelvis, gluteal and foot muscles.

Our Osteopaths at St Kilda Osteopathy can help with your pain by providing you with best practice on how to manage your injury as well as hands on treatment to facilitate in healing as well as appropriate rehabilitation, stretching and pain management advice.

If you are suffering from a running injury, please contact us at St Kilda Osteopathy and we can help get you back in the race.

Dr. Catriona BauldB.Sci (Clin.Sci), M.H.S.(Osteo) 
Member of Osteopathy Australia


Categories: Common Conditions, General Information, Pain Relief