If you are a runner, whether serious or amateur, then you are well aware of the possibility of suffering a running related injury. Despite great care to avoid such injuries, most serious runners will have at least some sort of experience with one.Preventing injury is the mantra of all runners, which is why such importance is placed on body health, muscle care and strength. Physical therapy pool access, proper stretching and warm up exercises as well as orthopedic therapy can all play an important role in avoiding serious injuries associated with running.
Perhaps most important when it comes to avoiding injury, though, is a proper warm-up. Individual runners, especially those who have been running for a large portion of their lives, will have specialized routines that vary at least slightly from person to person, but the core idea is the same: warm up to get your blood flowing, and to prevent injury.
Here are some good examples of warm-up exercises:
- Hamstring Stretch: Put one foot on a stool or other waist-high object, and slowly lean forward, reading down your shin until you feel your hamstring stretching.
- Lying Hamstring Stretch: Similar to the above, but performed by lying on your back. Be sure to keep your back flat, and grab the back of one thigh with both hands. Keep your leg bent at the knee, and pull your leg toward you until it’s 90 degrees from your body, and slowly straighten your leg.
- Gastroc Stretch: Lean against a wall with both palms flat against it. Position one leg several feet further back from the other, and keep your back straight. Slowly lunge forward toward the wall until you feel your calf muscle stretching.
It’s also important not to over-stretch. Yes, too much stretching can be as bad as, or worse than, any running injury you’re liable to get, so don’t go overboard! Typically your leg muscles can extend up to 60% of their original length…but they don’t enjoy treatment like that! Go easy on your muscles. Stretch reasonably, and do not “bounce!”
Bear in mind also that individual warm-up routines do (and should) vary, so beginning runners should experiment to see what works for them.
Types of running injuries include muscle tears or bruising, bone or joint damage or ligament and tendon damage and any one of these injuries can bring a runners love of the sport to a screeching halt. Depending on the severity, an injury can keep a runner off the track or road indefinitely, so injury avoidance is crucial!
The increased usage of home gyms or professional resources such as aquatic therapy equipment can greatly improve a runner’s chance of remaining untouched by injury as they can help to maintain the physical strength required to stay healthy.
Aquatic therapy is a practice that has lasted for thousands of years, and continues to be used (and to evolve) today. The process of aquatic therapy varies depending upon the needs and desires of the patient or client. Sometimes it’s as simple as prolonged soaking (which can have immense psychological and physical benefits), and other times it involves more complex setups, including underwater treadmills or powerful jets for the patient to push against.
With aquatic therapy, one can treat many types of ailments, from arthritis to serious muscle or joint rehabilitation. Many also use aquatic therapy setups not to recover from anything at all, but just to push their bodies and to train in a unique and satisfying environment.
Even with the finest practices equipment on the market, injuries can still happen. Athletes of all skill levels know very well that care after such an event can determine how quickly you can return to your normal routine. Trying to do too much too soon can result in permanent damage so a slow reintroduction is very important.
Regaining strength and support around the injury at a slow but steady pace can help ensure a full recover so utilizing any means at your disposal including use of a physical therapy pool, professional rehabilitation or medical solutions should all be closely examined to find the correct path to get a runner back on their feet.
Injuries can sometimes be avoidable, but they still happen. Proper care is completely up to you.
Thank Philip for reminding us ways to prevent injury. I have been pretty lucky so far but sometimes I forget to keep up with stretching and warming up!
In what ways do you prevent injury?
Have you been injured before? How did you get injured?