Are you Ready to Run this Spring 🏃🏼♀️?
Updated: Dec 26, 2019
If you are a Runner, being able to go on those long runs is the next best thing about Spring in addition to the gorgeous weather & blooming trees. And we love running because it brings in so many added benefits of staying healthy, burning calories & not to forget the huge rush of energy that comes from the bout of endorphins. Limited ability to run or declining performance due to back, hip or knee pain is every runner’s nightmare & a source of worry.
But let’s face it: back, hip or knee pain eventually do surface in the life of most runners especially if they are not doing something actively to prevent it. Don’t get me wrong: I am all about running & would for the most part try to keep a runner who I am treating running as much as possible. I know how painful the words “You should stop Running” could be especially if we can keep you running as safely as possible.
The good news is that our bodies are designed to handle some amount of load that comes with running especially if it is introduced gradually & consistently. Just like a car is expected to be driven above 60 MPH so are humans expected to run. It is that simple. But what fails most commonly is that since Running is an impactful activity, it tends to surface our underlying aches & pains that we were buried deep sooner than later. And hence our natural tendency is to blame running as the cause of that “knee or back pain”.
But trust me that knee or back pain would have surfaced eventually even if you were not running probably would take a little longer to show itself but it definitely would. In my opinion, it is indeed a good thing that you start noticing these issues early on so you can begin addressing them before they get worse.
Here are a few tips that you can follow to keep your joints healthy as you Run. Remember these are some general tips & never substitutes seeing a healthcare provider when you are in pain.
1. Make sure you do some exercises as “warm up”
Having a dynamic warm up is key for runners to minimize injuries. Performing active stretches makes sure that your joints and muscles are warmed up enough to begin the run. Skipping this part is very easy due to various factors but it could just as easily make you more prone to injuries.
2. Progress Gradually
If you haven’t been running for the last few months, begin your running program gradually. Give your body a chance to acclimate to this high energy consuming activity to minimize injuries. As a general rule, I advise runners to start with about 50% of the distance that they were doing before and if things go well. Progress by 10% of distance each week.
3. Consider the surface
It is easy to consider all surfaces equal especially if you are running outdoors. Even changing the route even if it is the same miles could have a different impact on your body. Also, make note of level versus hilly areas as running uphill could be a lot more stressful than running on level surface. So, factor that in when progressing your program. For instance, if you keep your mileage the same but switch from level to hills that in itself counts as a progression for that week.
4. Wear Proper Running Shoes
Having running shoes that provide appropriate support is also important as shoes that are too worn out could place unnecessary stress on your joints. Investing in a good pair of running shoes may be worth your while.
5. Consider the Post Running Posture
This is a very commonly ignored thing and has been mentioned in Robin Mckenzie’s Treat Your Own Back Guide. Most athletes adopt a slouched sitting posture post a vigorous activity and it is usually this “slouched sitting” after the run which is a source of their back pain and not the run itself. So make sure you watch your posture even when you are relaxing after a long run as that could easily be distressing your joints. A common question to identify if this is the issue is “Do you have pain during the run or after you have finished running?” This small detail could give your provider tons of information about the source of your pain.
If you or someone you know is not running due to pain or is afraid that running will make their pain worse or even thinks that running will help your pain, reach out to us and speak to your pain specialist today. Running is a non specific cardio activity & should have no influence on your pain. It’s only job is to keep you healthy & fit and make you feel good.
Want to learn more?
We also know not everyone is ready to commit to regular physical therapy appointments, and that’s why we offer our Free Information Guide! This Guide is for people in our community who want really valuable, expert information about their Knee problems. We know it’s confusing out there with all of the information floating around on Google and Facebook, and this is a valuable first step towards getting some real answers for your problem.
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