The Outer Banks is the one area of the country where everyone wants to be in great shape and works hard to look good. Joggers and runners can be seen on almost every road on the beach. With so many people running for exercise, we need to take a look at running related injuries and how best to avoid them and/or treat them.
Here are some of the most common injuries associated with running:
- Ankle Sprain – Ankle sprains while running usually occur during long distance running or broken terrain running (trail running). At home treatment involves elevating the ankle, rest, applying ice, and gentle compression.
- Runner’s Knee – This is the softening of the cartilage of the knee cap, generally caused by too much (or too little) pressure on the cartilage. It can also be felt after sitting too long with your knees bent.
- Plantar Fasciitis – The stretching or tearing of the connective tissue at the bottom of the foot, where the tissue connects to the heel. Pain is generally felt near the heel and is worst in the morning, but lessens with movement. Stretching the calf and Achilles tendon can prevent Plantar Fasciitis.
- Achilles Tendonitis – The Achilles tendon connects the heel and the calf (it is the “ridge” behind your ankle). The Achilles is a very common area for sports injuries and any pain in the Achilles must be taken seriously. Trying to “run through” pain in the Achilles is a major contributor to Achilles Tendonitis.
- Shin Splints – Shin splints are small tears in the muscle tissue where the tissue attaches to the skin. Splints can cause pain anywhere around the shin. This injury can be avoided with high quality running shoes and good running technique (heel toe landing).
To help avoid these and other injuries, you need to have a safe training schedule. I will not attempt to prescribe a training schedule tailored for you; but, as a general rule, you should not train hard all of the time. Alternate hard training sessions with light training sessions or alternate hard weeks and light weeks.
Also remember that the most important thing you can do to prevent injury is to stretch before you exercise. If you are not sure how to properly stretch, you should either buy a book of stretching exercises or talk with your chiropractor.
Dr. Craig McGiffin of Clearview Chiropractic is your chiropractor for the Outer Banks. Call Dr. Craig if you are experiencing a running related injury or to discuss any of your other chiropractic needs.