Isn’t running bad for me?
Historically running has been thought of as something that ‘wears out your joints’ and ‘causes arthritis’. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest the opposite of this true. Lo et al (2017) found runners were between 20-35% less likely to develop knee osteoarthritis versus those that didn’t run!
Why should I run?
Running is an efficient, cheap form of exercise. There are a variety of benefits:
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Improved mental health
- Increased bone density
- Reduced inflammatory chemicals in joints
- Maintenance of cartilage in joints
- Thicker lumbar discs from loading during running
Common Issues with runners
While soreness, especially when starting out, is to be expected, persistent soreness needs to be assessed.
Potential issues include:
- Tendinopathy (especially achilles and gluteals)
- Patella (kneecap) pain
- ITB friction syndrome
- Shin splints
- Plantar fasciopathy
Two of the main factors that contribute to these issues are Biomechanics and Training load.
Initially it is vital to look at lower limb strength and control. Poor leg position through the foot and knee, along with inadequate hip and core control can all predispose the runner to injury.
Training Load Management
Too much, too soon is a common history for the injured runner. It’s important to slowly increase training load and intensity, building in appropriate rest times to ensure tissues such as tendons and joints are not overloaded
Where do I start?
For a beginner the 10% increase in total load from week to week is a good starting point. However other factors are used to determine how to load a runner: Sleep, Anxiety, Stress levels, runner’s experience and previous load levels & Age
It’s also important to consider:
Running location (hilly or flat?) & Footwear
How often to I run?
Tendons specifically can take months to acclimatize to a new loading pattern. New runners are 2-3 times more likely to injure themselves than experienced runners due to lack of preparation.
What do physios do?
A physiotherapy assessment and targeted exercise program prior to starting your running program will give you the best chance to succeed and avoid unwanted injury.
Strength training remains a vital and often overlooked aspect of a runner’s conditioning program. A program targeted primarily at the quadricep, calf and gluteal in improvements in the speed and endurance of a runner and reduce injury risk.
Our skilled Physiotherapists at Back in Motion take all of these factors into consideration when helping you to meet your running goals! Call now on 9743 4479 for more details.
Author: Jeziah Sundqvist
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