Tips To Reduce Running Injuries 

Whether you are interested in the Cannock Chase 10k, a park run or even the Stafford half marathon, and you want to do so while minimising your chances of injury, then here is some free advice given to you from our sports therapists at Nicky Snazell’s Wellness and Physiotherapy Clinic.

First, though there are many ways to decrease your chance of injury, and footwear is one of the most important and there are a few important factors you may want to consider.

You may have just bought your first pair of trainers or have thousands of miles underfoot; either way, it is important to make sure they have good support. This is because the feet play a critical role in absorbing your body weight and the force of impact when you run or walk.

For example, when you run, your momentum generates a lot of force (up to 5X your body weight). Each time the foot strikes the ground, your joints absorb the impact. The shock from this force is felt in the feet and travels up the spine. This can lead to stress and strain on the joints and can lead to injury over time. Some factors to consider when buying a trainer.

  • Ensure your trainer has a thicker heel to absorb impact. The build of the shoe will give you longevity and the cushion and material needed to withstand impact and repeated stress.
  • It is also important to have a good structure. This will help ensure protection and support, reducing the likelihood of turning your ankle especially when going over the variety of terrain that you will experience on trail-runs.
  • Making sure that the trainer is suitable for the type of running/walking you’re doing

Biomechanics & Orthotics

Even though you may have very good trainers, it’s possible that the way your foot interacts with the ground is far from optimal, which in turn can cause many problems not only in the foot and ankle but also in the knees, hips and spine, all the way to the neck.  A properly prescribed bespoke orthotic based on a detailed static and dynamic assessment can resolve many of these problems, leading to fewer niggles, pain and injury in the long run.

Our sports therapists are able to provide such detailed assessments and if needed, also use this to design specific treatment plans to help your recovery.

What are common running injuries example

Ankle sprains are a common running injury. This is when ligaments that connect bone to bone in the ankle become overstretched through either rolling/twisting or over-rotating the ankle. This can happen in a split second with a simple slip on a wet tree root or a sudden shift of a rock underfoot. This may be accompanied by swelling, stiffness, and pain. While the R.I.C.E (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) treatment is often an effective method to use at home, it would usually be advisable to seek help from one of our sport therapists to get the best treatment to speed up your recovery, plus get the prescription of the most appropriate strength and conditioning exercises to help stop the injury from spraining again.

Road Running VS Trail Running

Road Running

Road running is one of the most convenient forms of exercise as you can throw your shoes on and leave your house on a consistent surface. However, due to the hard surface, the vibrations going through your feet will produce greater stress on your weight-bearing joints such as your knees, hips and ankles. This will impact on those with poor tissue quality, arthritis history and those recovering from injury.

Trail Running

Running on trails is more technical due to the variety of terrain, surfaces, and hills.

As a trail runner, it is very important to have good balance and a very strong core to support your legs as they jump, dodge, and move in sudden different directions. The uneven surface and diverse terrain challenge the muscles of the lower body more than a flat, firm road. The natural obstacles can give you a more effective overall workout and help improve your sense of balance and reaction time.

Strength and Conditioning

Proper trainers and orthotics are only part of the solution if you are struggling with any pain when walking or running. Strengthening and conditioning your muscles in your legs and core region is essential to minimise injury occurrence. We can provide guidance not only to stop and prevent your pain from occurring but to increase your running longevity and your performance.

If you are a keen athlete, the chances are you have suffered from an injury throughout your training. Understanding how and why this is caused and taking steps to strengthen your weakness could be a game-changer for your performance.

The problem for many of us is that daily life can involve a lot of sitting at a computer screen for many hours and this can lead to poor posture, plus muscles in our trunk stiffening up and weakening. These core muscles, along with those in the buttocks and upper leg are important in stabilising you during exercise. If these muscles become weak, you are much more likely to injure yourself from falls or strains.

What is Strength and conditioning?

The use of dynamic and static bodyweight and resistance exercises to improve your performance and reduce the likelihood of injury occurring. It is also used during injury recovery.

Why should I strength and condition?

  • Injury prevention – helps to correct muscle imbalances and improve muscle activation, as well as increasing the efficiency of your running biomechanics, which results in improved running performance.
  • To be faster/ stronger
  • To enjoy exercise more.

If you are suffering repeated running injuries or just niggling pain, these will prevent you from enjoying your sport as much as you would like. Our sports therapists can certainly help you both recover faster and help you minimise the chances of recurrence in the future. As an athlete, you put so much effort into your training, it’s worth putting the same effort into taking care of your body too. Ultimately, prevention is more important than recovery.

Call 01889 881488 Now

Erica, Jean and Charlotte will be happy to help.