Running causes injuries much more than most people think. Statistics show that 79% of runners get injured each year. Are you surprised?
If you’re a runner, you know how hard you push yourself. You want the distance, and you want the speed. Getting that distance and speed means working your body beyond exhaustion most days to see how far you can push your limits.
The body can withstand a lot, but it’s not invincible. Even a machine breaks down if it’s overused.
Overuse isn’t the only reason runners get hurt, though. Even runners who don’t push themselves can become injured.
The following are just some of the ways runners get hurt and how to avoid those injuries.
Runners get hurt because sometimes they fall down. It could be from running in the rain or jumping over a pothole. When a runner falls down, they can end up with a broken bone, sprain or lacerations.
The best way to avoid falling down is to pay attention. Don’t run and look at your phone. If you run in the rain or some other inclement weather (snow, ice, etc.), make sure you wear sneakers with good gripping. While it’s okay to admire your surroundings, try to keep one eye on the ground to avoid stones, potholes, and other obstacles.
Cross country runners train their feet and bodies to deal with the rigorous terrain they run on, so those who decide to run on rough terrain may end up with some injuries. These injuries can be on the feet because they pound on uneven paths they aren’t used to it. The joints are susceptible to injuries as well, as they are not used to the way the body comes down on them.
If you’re thinking of switching up the terrain for your runs, do it slowly. Don’t go from running a 6-minute mile on a flat road to a rough terrain. That goes for distance too. Start slow and short when you switch to cross country training. Your body will thank you.
When your sneakers are too small, they put too much pressure on your feet. When your sneakers are too big, they don’t provide the support you need. In either case, you could end up with some painful injuries.
It’s vital to make sure the sneakers you wear are good for your feet. They need to be the right size and provide the support your feet need in the arch and heel. Running stores have a machine that identifies what type of shoe is best for your feet.
Once you have a good fit, don’t depend on those sneakers for the rest of your life. Depending on how often you run, you may need new ones every year. It may be quite an investment, but it’s one that is worth it. Sneakers wear down as you use them, and that can leave you vulnerable to injuries.
Running is your thing – we get it. The problem is that running takes strength. While you are working your muscles when you run, not all of them get the right type of exercise. Weight training will strengthen your muscles, so you are less prone to injuries.
The thighs, hip, and knees are the most common areas that become injured due to overuse. You can decrease the risk of injury by increasing their strength. Lifting weights is the perfect way to do this. You can use the lying leg press, seated leg extension, and hip abductor/adductor.
No matter what side you’re on when it comes to stretching, you should do it. Yes, it’s true that experts have debated this for years. What we know though is many runners suffer from injuries in areas where muscles are tight. Flexibility may prevent those injuries.
When stretching, concentrate on the muscle groups behind the legs. This includes the hamstrings and calf muscles. Both of these may help keep the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia healthy.
Runners are used to feeling sore when they kick it up a notch in their training. The problem is that soreness may be mistaken for pain, which could be a sign there is a minor injury. When it’s ignored, that minor injury can turn into a major one.
Pushing through pain is never a good idea. If you feel pain, stop. If the pain doesn’t subside after a few minutes, call it quits for the day. This will give your body time to repair itself if there was a small injury.
If you’ve injured yourself by running or performing some other physical activity, contact Suffolk Foot and Ankle. We have offices conveniently located throughout Long Island in Patchogue, Riverhead, Medford and Commack. Our doctors are well-known throughout the area for successfully treating running injuries, and they can help you too. Contact us now at 631-604-4948 for more information on scheduling an appointment.