Tips to Prevent Running Injuries
By taking a few precautions and planning, you can prevent many common running injuries. Here are some tips for preventing injuries.
Listen to your body: Don’t ignore pain. A little soreness is OK. But if you notice consistent pain in a muscle or joint that doesn’t get better with rest, see your health care provider.
Create a running plan: Before beginning a running routine, talk to a trainer. A trainer can help you create a running plan that is in line with your current fitness abilities and long-term goals.
Strength train: Add weight training and ab exercises to your routine. This strengthens muscles and develops core strength.
Cross train: Mix up your fitness routine. Don’t only run. Try swimming, biking, tennis, or some other activity. This helps prevent overuse injuries that more commonly occur when you do the same type of exercise over and over again.
Dress appropriately: Wear lightweight, breathable clothing that wicks moisture away from your skin. Dress in layers. Also wear a hat to protect against the sun and cold.
Be shoe smart: Wear proper-fitting socks and shoes with good support. Remember thatrunning shoes are recommended to last for a certain mileage. If the soles of your running shoes have worn thin or are angled, you over overdue for getting a new pair. If you have foot problems, such as flat feet or high arches, consider using orthotic shoe inserts.
Run wisely: Run on a flat, smooth surface and avoid steep hills until your body gets used to the activity.
Be safe: Run during the day, in well-lit areas, or use a light so that you can be seen. Keep a cell phone and identification on you. If running with headphones, set the volume low enough so that you can hear cars and other noises. Run with a partner when you can.
Weather matters: Monitor the weather conditions before you go for a run. Don’t run outside if it is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, below freezing, or the humidity is high.
Stay hydrated: Make sure you drink an extra 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups of water on the days you run. If you are running for more than an hour, drink a sports drink to replenish electrolytes lost in sweat.
Treatment of Common Running Injuries
Most running injuries can be relieved by following these treatment strategies. If pain and discomfort continues, see your health care provider. You may need more advanced treatment to resolve your running injury.
Rest: Take it easy. If you keep running, your injury may get worse. Choose alternative ways to exercise while you heal, such as swimming or cycling.
Ice and cold therapy: Apply ice packs to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling.
Compression: Wrap the affected area with tape and use splints and supports to control swelling and stabilize the affected area.
Elevate: If you sprain your ankle or hurt your foot, elevate it to reduce swelling.
Stretch: To reduce pain and tension of the affected area, gently stretch and massage the injured area.
Pain relievers: Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve), as recommended by your health care provider to relieve pain and inflammation.
Don’t try to push through pain. If you notice discomfort, take a break from running. If the pain continues, seek care from your health care provider.