Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise and yet many people unknowingly running incorrectly, making them highly susceptible to injury. Despite running from childhood into adulthood, it is rare that we actually learn how to run properly, which often becomes quite evident with age. As we grow older it becomes increasingly important to run with proper form and fortunately, it’s never too late to learn. Take the time learn how to avoid painful injuries in the future, making running enjoyable again. There are a number of common running injuries, most of which can be prevented with proper precautions.
Aging, Wear, and Tear
As we age, our bodies begin to display signs of wear and tear after years of supporting our each and every move. When done incorrectly, running can accelerate this process, resulting in further wear and tear on the body. One of the most common injuries that plagues runners is known as “runner’s knee” which is typically a result of overuse. Stress fractures are another result of overworking your body, as tiny cracks form in the bone, resulting in varying degrees of pain and discomfort.
Overuse and Poor Preparation
A great deal of running injuries extends from overuse and poor preparation, placing too much stress on the body before it has properly adapted. Shin splints are another symptom of doing too much, too soon, easily identified by a sharp, shooting pain along the front and inside of the shin. Alternatively, Achilles tendinitis results in pain and stiffness due to inflammation of the Achilles tendon.
Stretch, But Not Too Much
One must also take precaution when stretching, as overstretching the leg muscles can be equally as harmful as not stretching at all. When one overstretches their muscles, the result can be a pulled muscle, which often affects the hamstrings, quadriceps, calf, and groin.
With that being said, how can one avoid experiencing such injuries? First and foremost, it is vital that you listen to your body. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that you’re overdoing it and should get some recovery time. Take time to warm-up and stretch before running, warming up your muscles, but overly so. Increasing muscle strength through strength training and cross training is another great way to prepare your body for a challenge. Finally, invest in a proper pair of running shoes and visit a place that specializes in foot injuries like The Foot Clinic. Your body will thank you!