RUN: Better, Faster, Longer, Stronger
By Kirsty Tarr•12 Feb, 2018•0 Comments
RUN: Better, Faster, Longer, Stronger
Do you suffer from aches, twinges, niggles or lingering soreness from yesterday’s session?. Well, you are not alone; research shows that as many as 79% of runners get injured at least once during the year – that means that nearly 8 out of every 10 runners you see at your next race have been or will be injured sometime that year.
Think of running pains in terms of Zones
1. RED ZONE. These are full-blown injuries which include stress fractures that require time off.
2. YELLOW ZONE. This is where you are not-quite-injured but not-quite-healthy
Mild, transient aches that bug you one day and disappear the next sit closer to the green end.
3. THE GREEN ZONE- You’re in top form,
Unfortunately, many runners get stuck in the middle, in the yellow zone. Your ability to stay in the green zone depends largely on how you react to that first stab of pain. Often a little rest now, or reduction in training mileage and intensity, with some treatment, can prevent a lot of time off later. Developing a proactive long-term injury-prevention strategy, such as strength training, stretching, regular massage and foam-rolling can help keep you in the ‘green.’ Its is a lot like homework, not all of us like having to do it, but if you don’t do it, you’re sure to get in trouble at some stage!
You can find more information and exercise leaflets for injury prevention at this link.
So, What Causes Running Injuries?
Recent studies have shown there is no one specific risk factor that has a direct effect on injury rate or injury prevention. Whilst warming up, compression garments, acupuncture and massage have some evidence in reducing injury rates but it is all a little grey.
However Training Error has been proven to be a specific factor. Estimates suggest that anywhere from 60 to as much as 80% of running injuries are due to training errors. A combination of overloading with inadequate recovery time can lead to injury. Ligaments, tendons and cartilage, are particularly at risk because they adapt more slowly than muscles to increased mechanical load.
There are 2 key factors that appear to play a part in this
1. Body Mass Index (BMI > 25)
2. History of previous injury, especially in the last 12 months.
While high BMI and previous injury may reduce the amount of running your body can manage, strength and conditioning is likely to increase it. Training error and injury risk share a complex relationship – it may not be that total running mileage on its own is key but how quickly this increases, hill and speed training.
The old saying of “too much, too soon” is probably quite accurate. We have produced a series of prevention and treatment guides for the 6 most common running injuries which you can download here
What are The Most Common Injuries to be Aware of?
Body tissues such as muscles and tendons are continuously stressed and repaired on a daily basis, as a result of both ‘normal’ functional activities and sport. An overuse injury often occurs when a specific tissue fails to repair in the time available so the first time you feel soreness, stiffness or a pain is not necessarily when it all began.
The most common injury is ‘runners knee’ or patellofemoral pain syndrome and accounts for over 40% of running injuries. This is followed closely by plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinopathy and then ITB (iliotibial band syndrome), shin splints and hamstring strain. These injuries generally need complete rest or at least a reduction in training volume and intensity followed by Physiotherapy to promote tissue healing and mobility
Although these are overuse injuries there is frequently an underlying muscle weakness and/or flexibility issue that needs to be addressed and your Physiotherapist can advise you on specific rehabilitation exercises. Follow this link to find more specific information about each of the most common running injuries with specific rehabilitation leaflets for you to use.
While guidance can be given, it is general in its nature, whereas individual complaints may need individual attention. If you do pick up an injury (including ‘tightness’ ‘irritation’ or ‘niggle’) that you’re worried about then we can help, the sooner it’s treated the better.
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