How Do I Prevent Running Injuries? | PRO Therapy
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How Do I Prevent Running Injuries?

Running Injuries

Have you experienced an injury from running? 

Are you worried that you may have an injury when exercising? 

Is fear holding you back? 

We want to reassure you that exercise is the solution and not something to be afraid of. 

Running injuries are commonplace but don’t let this put you off. 

Despite this high incident rate of injuries, exercise is often the solution to a lot of joint pain.

Some sources claim that the annual injury rate for runners can be as high as 66%. Ranging from mild to serious injuries. 

You might be wondering, how exactly can we limit these injuries and what help can we provide you?

We’re confident that we can help you whether it’s physical therapy or just general advice. 

Who Can We Help? 

We want to help you get the help and advice that you need. 

No ache or pain is too small, we’re happy to take a look and give some advice to make sure your condition does not worsen. 

Injuries and pain come in a variety of different forms.

Does the following sound familiar? 

  • Have you experienced a moderate to serious injury while running?
  • Are you concerned that you may have an injury in future? 
  • Have you been experiencing a slight ache after running?
  • Are you experiencing a prolonged sense of discomfort in your joints?
  • Is your injury preventing you from exercising? 

Here at PRO Therapy we’ve heard it all before. 

We can help you with any recent or ongoing pain that you may be experiencing. 

Even if it’s a concern or a query about running or exercise don’t hesitate to call us now.

Keeping fit

What Injuries Can You Expect From Exercise? 

In short, exercise shouldn’t be painful. 

While we understand that injuries caused by exercise aren’t uncommon, we want to work with you to minimize the chance of these risks. 

Aside from joint aches and pains, intensive exercise done without guidance can contribute to conditions that can cause great discomfort. 

What have we seen before? 

  • Runner’s knee – Activity causing pain in and around the kneecap, can also be caused by inactivity.
  • Achilles pain – Stiffness and thickening of the tendon causing discomfort and pain during exercise. 
  • Calf ache – Often caused by overstretching or excessive force placed on the tendon or muscle. 
  • Shin splints – A non-serious pain normally attributed to poor form or short spurts of intense exercise. 
  • Stress fractures – A very small crack formed caused by repetitive trauma, often found in athletes 
  • Plantar Fasciitis – Inflammation of the plantar fascia causing pain in the heel and the foot arch. Often caused by exercising on hard surfaces. 
  • IT band syndrome – Caused by the repetitive friction of the iliotibial band rubbing against the leg bone causing a sharp pain on the outer leg. 

Ankle Pain

Whether you have a question about any of the above conditions or something else, do not hesitate to get in touch. 

Don’t waste any time ignoring small pains or aches, the faster you act the quicker we can start your recovery. 

Our Top Tips For Reducing The Chance Of Injury

We know that not all injuries can be prevented but we can certainly advise you how to minimize the risk.

The thought of exercise shouldn’t create fear. 

Inactivity is often the reason behind many people’s aches and pains. 

Are you sitting thinking, how can I exercise effectively?

It can be difficult to know where to start when you experience long term or chronic pain. 

Are you looking for a solid running program that’ll minimize your risk of long term injury? 

We can help you create a program that suits you.

Every runner can benefit from a strengthening program to prevent moderate injury. 

How Can You Change Your Routine To Prevent Running Injuries? 

Try to mix up your forms of exercise (running is great but only works certain muscles). 

Exercises like cross-training improve muscle balance and help you to stay injury free. 

A lot of aerobic activities like swimming, cycling and rowing burn calories but also build muscle in a balanced manner. 

These kinds of exercises are great for making sure that you don’t overextend certain muscles with just one kind of exercise. 

In summary focussing on just one exercise causes some muscles to become overstretched causing moderate pain and aches. 

Ankle Joint Pain

Strengthening Programs

We want to work with you to create a personalized exercise program that helps to build muscle and endurance. 

Strengthening programs can help everyone interspersed 1-3 times a week. 

These programs aren’t just for seasoned runners or exercise enthusiasts, they’re helpful for everyone!

Our favourite strengthening exercises consist of a mix of lunges, squats and deadlifts. 

The intensity level of these exercises and the amount of reps will be personalized for your fitness level. 

Building strength in your legs and hips will significantly reduce your risk of developing a running related injury. 

How To Reduce Your Risk While Running

The way you run has a massive impact on your body. 

To minimize the risk of injury and chronic pain we can suggest a running pattern and form that’s best for you. 

To increase your cadence run lower to maintain a form that will minimize the risk of posture related injury. 

Keep your body as low to the ground as possible without slouching to reduce bouncing while running. 

It’s also important to ensure that you increase the amount of times that your foot hits the ground by 10%. 

Studies have shown that the application of keeping your body lowered and increasing the contact time between your foot and the ground reduces injury. 

These parameters reduce the amount of force absorbed by the feet,legs and hips while running. 

You might be thinking, why is any of this important? 

The reduced impact and force on the joints decreases the chance of injury. 

Better posture and running form means a reduced amount of aches and pains during and after exercise. 

Running injury caused by poor posture

The 10% Rule

The 10% rule has been proven to effectively minimize the risk of injury while running. 

But what exactly is the 10% rule? 

This rule advises runners to increase the time exercising by 10% a week. 

As an example if you’re running for 4 miles one week the next week would be 4.4 miles. 

It’s important to ensure that you do not increase exercise intensity past this 10% rule as this increases the risk of overstretching or injury. 

The rule applies to all exercises and helps to build muscle balance and strength. 

This isn’t limited to pace, it can also be applied to running time. 

Alternatively if you’re exercising for 2 hours one week then the next this should not be increased past 2 hours and 20 minutes the next. 

Here at PRO Therapy we know that overdoing it with exercise can cause moderate pain and even potential injury.

We can help you create a program that builds up muscle and your endurance, get in touch now to book a free discovery visit. 

The Benefits Of Regular Exercise

As you’re probably already aware, regular running or jogging offers many health benefits.

  • Exercise promotes the strengthening of muscles, increasing endurance and your general health. 
  • Running is a weight bearing exercise meaning it aids in building strength in your bones. 
  • Helps to maintain a healthy weight, the exercise itself promotes weight loss. 
  • Improves cardiovascular health increasing endurance of the heart muscle. 
  • General increase of fitness.
  • Can strengthen your immune system, increasing your body’s response to illness. 
  • Can have great mental health benefits reducing the negative effects of anxiety and depression 

Running and jogging are both aerobic exercises meaning that the body relies on the combination of oxygen with the blood to produce energy. 

Aerobic exercise is greatly beneficial for increasing your general wellbeing. 

If you have questions about how to get started with running or any other exercises don’t hesitate and get in touch now. 

Good posture for running

What Else Can I Do To Minimize The Risk Of Injury?

Choosing the right shoes for the job is essential.

By wearing ineffective footwear you increase the risk of a sustained injury. 

Running shoes should easily bend, be comfortable and have a shock absorbing sole to minimize the chance of repetitive strain. 

If you’re unsure it’s best to seek help from a professional, we are available for any questions that you have. 

Along with the correct footwear it is also important to consider your own pacing. 

Often it’s best to start slowly and build up to gradually strengthen your muscles and general fitness. 

The 10% rule is a great method for building up to more extensive exercise routines. 

We often work with clients to produce a personalized program. 

Whether you’re just getting started or if you’re a seasoned runner we can give any advice that you need. 

We Can Help You! 

The quicker that you act the less time your condition has to worsen!

Do you have more questions about running? 

Have you been dealing with pain while running that doesn’t seem to get better with rest, ice, stretching, etc.? 

Need help getting started with a running program? 

We know that we can help you, we’re only a phone call away. 

If you would like to talk to one of our therapists, get in touch now! 

This is an expansion of a blog written by Ben Schacht on the 15th of April 2020 click here to read more! 

Kevin Spahr

Kevin Spahr

Dr. Kevin Spahr, Minneapolis, MN Physical Therapist, understands that each patient is unique when it comes to injury and disease management. “The complexity of our bodies requires detailed examination and critical thinking to develop a care plan specific for each patient.” Dr. Spahr places high priority on customized treatment plans to help you reach your personal goals. Dr. Kevin Spahr, originally from Winona, MN, completed his undergraduate studies at St. Mary’s University in his hometown. After graduation, he moved up to the Twin Cities metro area in 2005 to pursue his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree at St. Catherine University School of Health in Minneapolis, MN. My love and dedication to the world of physical therapy began at a young age dealing with personal injuries sustained in sports. My passion in life has always been to help others, and a physical therapist is the career path I chose. My focus is on you. My goal is to keep you happy and healthy. In his free time, Dr. Spahr enjoys spending time with his wife (Liz), dogs (Mia & Ellie), family and friends when not in the clinic. He also enjoys staying active, exercising and the outdoors.
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