Running injuries can arise from various sources, be it acute traumas like falls or rolled ankles, or from long-term over use. Approximately 80% of running disorders stem from overuse injuries, often resulting from a mismatch between the resilience of connective tissues and improper running mechanics or muscle imbalances.
Pushing yourself beyond your current intensity level can strain muscles and soft tissues, leading to a range of issues, including:
- Shin splints (medial tibial stress syndrome
- Runners knee (patellofemoral syndrome)
- Soft tissue injuries like strains, sprains, and tears
- Topical injuries like blisters
- Plantar fasciitis
- IT band syndrome
- Achilles tendinitis
- Stress frctures
Anterior compartment syndrome, uneven surfaces, improper footwear, and ingrown toenails can contribute to any pain or dysfunctional movement the runner may experience but are not injuries caused by running.
Preventing Running Injuries
Ligaments, tendons, and cartilage are particularly vulnerable, adapting more slowly than muscles to increased mechanical load. To mitigate the risks of injury, Dynamic’s doctors recommend:
- Run and exercise with correct form and posture
- Stick to an effective warm up and cool down regimen that works the necessary muscles
- Have a running plan and progress slowly
- Run on an even surface that is reasonably soft
- Avoid uneven surfaces
- Use quality running shoes with enough room in the toe
- Exercise to strengthen the foot, ankle, calf, hips, and core
- Use orthotic sole inserts if necessary
- Stay hydrated
- Give your muscles what they need to recover (rest, heat, nutrition, etc.)
- Give yourself adequate recovery time
- Gradually introduce surface changes
- Don’t train for distance and speed at the same time
- Take care of any injuries, preexisting or new
- Understand the difference between muscle soreness and muscle pain
- Train for mobility and strength in the foot, ankle, hip, and core.
We can’t stress enough the importance of having an appropriate warm up and cool down regimen that addresses all the muscles involved in the physical activity you participate in. Warming up loosens the joints and increases blood flow to your muscles, which makes them less likely to rip or tear. Warming up also prepares your muscles to provide stability while running.
What To Do After A Running Injury
- Schedule a virtual consultation with Dynamic’s chiropractors to see if you need to visit a doctor
- RICE- rest, ice/heat, compression, elevation
- Pay attention to any swelling and how it changes over time
- Pay attention to your pain level
If your pain level stays at a 4-6 out of 10 for multiple days, it is time to consult a physician. If there is any pain while running please consult a physician before continuing to run.
As a sports rehabilitation chiropractic office, we recommend you make an appointment with one of our doctors for an injury screening, as well as a movement screening. Most runners are unaware of the movement restrictions or strength deficits they have until the injury does occur. Injuries while running happen due to compression, lack of flexibility, lack of strength, or an abnormal load. Treatment is going to depend on the individual, their injury, and the capabilities of their body. Dynamic’s doctors may need to have imaging – perhaps a Diagnostic Ultrasound, X-Ray, or MRI – completed before a diagnosis and may refer out to an orthopedist if needed.
Treating Running Injuries
- Active Release Technique
- Physio – corrective exercises prescribed by a physician
- Piezowave therapy
- Class IV laser therapy
- Manual adjustments
Most injuries will require a doctor’s visit for diagnosis and treatment, attempting to diagnose or treat any injuries yourself is not recommended. If you are unsure where to make an appointment, you can schedule a no-cost consultation.