Running is a great way to maintain and improve overall health, and it has become an extremely popular workout method to stay in shape. While there are many benefits that come with running, the repetitive nature often results in an increased risk of overuse injury for runners. If you’re an avid runner or simply enjoy running a couple of miles throughout the week, you may have heard of the term “overuse injury”—or perhaps have even suffered from one! They’re more common than you’d think and can also be prevented fairly easily!
Overuse Injuries and Running
As opposed to acute injuries like shoulder dislocation or an ankle sprain, an overuse injury is an injury that occurs from tissue damage caused by repetitive stress over time. In overuse injuries, muscles, ligaments, bones, and joints are damaged due to prolonged movement or use of one particular area of the body. Oftentimes, these types of injuries occur when the body is stressed beyond its ability to repair itself, either from excessive exercise, improper form or inadequate rest between sessions.
Most Common Overuse Injuries for Runners
About 80% of running injuries are from this repetitive stress. These types of running injuries include Shin Splints, Runner’s Knee, It Band Syndrome and Achilles Tendinitis.
Preventing Overuse Injuries for Runners
Logging hundreds of miles or more yearly can take a toll on your knees, legs and feet. To keep you muscles, joints and connective tissues from baring too much stress with all of those foot strikes, check out these tips:
Have a Plan
Whether you’re new to running or getting back into the running world, it is important to set up a plan before hitting the pavement. Remember to ease into a routine and track your mileage for every run. As you continue, you should gradually increase your mileage between 10% and 30% each week. Logging your miles can help reach your goal and help identify any problems as you progress.
Choose the Right Gear
Investing in quality running shoes can help prevent injuries and keep you running more efficiently. While there are hundreds of running shoes available, it is more important to choose the shoes that work for you. Once you find the perfect fit, the shoes should be swapped for a new pair once they’ve got about 350-400 miles logged.
It is crucial to remember that rest is your friend, especially with running. It is recommended to not run more than three days in a row and for new runners to get a day of rest in between each running day. Doing so can help reduce injury and fatigue that can happen with increased mileage. In addition, adding in strength training twice weekly can help build glute, hip and core muscles which will ultimately help improve your performance.
General Treatment and Prevention Tips to Remember
There are several methods for preventing overuse injuries, including:
● Limiting exercise time to allow adequate rest and recovery
● Limiting the number and frequency of specific repetitive movements (i.e., the number of repetitions in a specific workout routine or certain sport-specific activities)
● Utilizing the right technique and equipment when starting any new activity
● Gradually increasing your activity level to achieve your fitness goals rather than
increasing it too quickly
Southern Rehab and Sports Medicine Running Clinic
Running Clinics have grown to become a leading organization in the prevention of running injuries. Let our experienced physical therapist, Racheal Lacy, help you reach your running goals at our running clinic at our Columbus location!
Have more questions or think you may be suffering from an overuse injury? Our physical therapists are certified to help. Call our office to talk to a member of our team or request an appointment in the form below!