PREVENTING INJURY – EITHER YOU RUN THE DAY OR THE DAY RUNS YOU!
With the sun finally coming out of hiding and the days getting longer, many Melbournians are taking up running to get a kick-start on their summer fitness. Whatever your reasons for pounding the pavement (bikini season, a new PB, a clearer head?) here are our top tips to prevent any injuries.
Many of the injuries we as Physiotherapists see could have been avoided if only an adequate warm up had been performed. Warming up increases blood flow and oxygen to muscles so that they can respond appropriately to the demands placed upon them. It is a quick and easy way to reduce the likelihood of any muscle strains or tears, which could set you back 6-8 weeks!
WEAR ADEQUATE FOOTWEAR
Your feet are the building blocks for your whole body therefore it is crucial they are given appropriate support. Here at Stay Tuned Sports Medicine we offer a thorough biomechanical assessment and analysis. This can determine whether your feet require any additional support (i.e. orthotics), or simply specific strengthening exercises to ensure not only your feet remain injury free but also your ankles, knees, hips and back. Don’t forget running shoes should be replaced approximately every 500 miles so be sure to keep track of mileage and look out for any signs of wear and tear.
BE AWARE OF YOUR POSTURE
We all know that feeling of fatigue that hits when you get towards the end of your run. It is critical at this point that you do not let your shoulders round or your chin poke forward. Consciously checking your posture and ensuring you maintain a good alignment will prevent unnecessary strain on your neck and back. Not only will this reduce the chance of injury but also allows more oxygen to flow through the body and fill your lungs so that you can get to the finish line quicker!
ENGAGE YOUR CORE
The stronger your core muscles are the less strain placed on your lower back and also the less pressure on your pelvic floor. Gently activating your Transverse Abdominis (lower abdominals and main core muscle) and Pelvic Floor whilst running may help to decrease the incidence of lower back or incontinence issues. It is also important to ensure you have strong gluteal muscles (aka butt muscles) to reduce the pressure and strain placed on hips and knees. Some of the most common injuries we see are a result of gluteal weakness and pelvic and core instability. These can be corrected with simple and easy exercises. If you are unsure whether you are activating your core properly, would like a tailored core and stability exercise program or would like to join one of our Clinical Pilates classes, book in to see one of your local therapists at Stay Tuned Sports Medicine.
These are just a few handy hints that will help prevent any injuries whilst running. It is important to remember to seek advice sooner rather than later if you are experiencing any niggles or discomfort. The quicker you get the problem addressed the quicker you will be back to full pace!
Fiona Tydde – BSc (Physiotherapy), Paris Marathon 2015