Here at Healthpointe, we love to run – so much so, that this year we’ve decided to sponsor and participate in one of Southern California’s biggest annual running events, the Brea 8k. We agree that running is one of the best ways to stay in shape, and because it can be done almost anywhere and at any time, it is one of the easiest ways to stay fit, too.
In prepping our team for this year’s 8k, we’ve been talking a lot about how we can perform our very best, and ensure that each of our team members remain healthy before, during, and after the meet. Even though running seems like a no-brainer, it can take a hard toll on your joints and muscles, especially if done incorrectly or without proper precautions. If done without practicing proper safety measures, you could be increasing your likelihood of sustaining any one of many common running injuries.
How can running injuries occur?
Running injuries can occur when you:
- Push yourself too hard without taking adequate time to recover. This includes making sure you have enough sleep the night before and after a run, eating nutritious foods that have a high enough carb count to sustain the number of carbs you burn while running, as well as icing your muscles and stretching before and after each run.
- Running in old shoes, or in shoes that are not designed for your arch-type. When you run in shoes that are worn down or don’t have enough traction, you increase the amount of stress and impact on your legs and joints, which can lead to overuse injuries as well as other general aches and pains.
- Running in improper form. Running in proper form will not only allow you to run longer, but it will also help you run more efficiently, and prevent you from putting too much strain on any one part of your body at once.
What kinds of injuries can I be at risk for?
Here are some of the most common running injuries and their definitions, as per Lexico (powered by Oxford):
- Shin splints – acute pain in the shin and lower leg caused by prolonged running, typically on hard surfaces.
- Muscle pulls – a pulled or strained muscle.
- Blisters – a small bubble on the skin filled with serum and caused by friction, burning, or other damage.
- Runner’s knee – soreness in the knee in a long-distance runner or jogger.
- Achilles tendinitis – inflammation of the Achilles tendon, most commonly from overuse but also from infection.
- Ankle sprains – wrench or twist of the ligaments of the ankle violently, so as to cause pain and swelling but not dislocation.
- Stress fractures – a fracture of a bone caused by repeated (rather than sudden) mechanical stress.
How can I prevent myself from sustaining an injury from running?
Most common running injuries can be prevented if the proper precautions are taken before, during, and after running. These precautions should become a part of your daily running routine, and include:
- Remembering to warm-up and stretch your muscles thoroughly, before and after you run.
- Staying hydrated, and doing your best to maintain healthy dietary and sleep habits.
- Developing a well-rounded training routine, so that you can strengthen all of your muscles, and further develop your core strength.
- Wear proper-fitting socks and shoes (with good support!)
- Practice running in good form.
- Learn to listen to your body, and remain aware of how your symptoms of pain present themselves so that you can avoid over-exerting yourself and prevent sustaining immediate injuries, as well as ones that can occur over time.
In the case that you do sustain an injury from running, or if you believe you have been experiencing pain as a result of working out, you should consider seeking medical care from a trained and licensed professional.
Though not everyone can be a professional athlete, Healthpointe believes that everyone can be attended to like one – our fellowship-trained doctors specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of countless sports and exercise-related injuries, conditions, and symptoms.
We are proud to offer weekend warriors and sports enthusiasts the same outstanding treatment as we offer professional athletes and sports competitors, and we are here to get you back on your feet so that we can see you can join in on fun like the Brea 8k, too!
To learn more about Healthpointe’s Sports Medicine Program, request an appointment for a Sports Physical, or to make an appointment with us, visit https://www.healthpointe.net/ or call (888) 824-5580 for more information.