Running is a great form of exercise, recreation, and spot participation for adults, adolescents, and children. Running, when done properly, can enhance physical fitness, coordination, sense of accomplishment and physical and emotional development. However, running under adverse conditions or with inadequate clothing and equipment can cause a variety of injuries and physical stress.
Signs that you may be injured (Early diagnosis and treatment is key):
- Pain or discomfort while running
- Pain at rest
- Inability to sleep
- Easily experiencing shortness of breath (exercise asthma)
- Headaches during or after running
- Dizziness or lightheaded feeling any time.
Common Running injuries:
- Knee injuries- kneecap pain, tendonitis
- Lowe leg pain- shin splints, stress fractures, calf problems
- Foot and ankle injuries-ankle sprain, heel pain, plantar fasciitis (bottom of foot pain), toe injuries
- Pelvic and hip injuries- muscle pulls, growth plate stress injuries, tendonitis, groin pain, buttock pain
- Heat injuries- blisters or heat rash
Why is it important to stop running if I Hurt?
Pushing through pain just makes the problem worse, which will keep you from running for a long time. Stopping when there is a problem and correcting it gets you back running again in the shortest, safest amount of time. If you have pain, contact a doctor, physical therapist or athletic trainer that specializes in running type injuries for proper diagnosis and treatment. Most of the time, problems are easily fixed if attended too quickly.
Injury prevention tips:
- Talk about running with your Physical Therapist, coach, trainer, or running organization.
- Determine the reason (goal) you are running (fitness, recreation, training, competition)
- Develop a running plan and strategy that is compatible with your goal and your current level of fitness
- Set safe, achievable goals and advance slowly and cautiously
Preparing to run:
- Hydrate well in advance
- Do sport specific dynamic stretching before the run
- Speed up slowly
Proper Running Attire:
- Light weight, breathable clothing prevents perspiration buildup and allow for better body heat regulation
- Proper fitting and proper thickness of socks help avoid blisters and irritation of the feet.
- Proper shoes with good support arches should fit well and be comfortable
- Inspect your shoes before running: if they have worn thin or are angled, purchase new shoes
- Orthotic shoe inserts are especially valuable for people with flat fee, high-arched feet, unstable ankles, or foot problems
Safe weather conditions:
Children and adolescents cannot tolerate the weather extremes that adults can, making them more susceptible to heat and cold injuries. Prevent heat illnesses (sunburn, dehydration, exhaustion) or cold injuries (frostbite) by monitoring the weather conditions. Do not run if temperatures are over 90 degrees, humidity levels are high, or temperatures are extremely cold.
Peak Performance Physical Therapy specializes in running injury prevention and treatment. We provide one on one personal attention to each runner we see. So please don’t let running injuries linger. The quicker you address the problem the quicker you will be able to get back to the exercise you love to do!
Jill Marlan PT, MSPT,OMPT
Peak Performance Physical Therapy PLC-Owner
4911 W. St. Joe Lansing, MI 48917 (517) 853-6800
Michigan Board of Physical Therapy-Chair
National Physical Therapy Continuing Competency Committee