What causes running injuries?
Aside from slipping off a curb and spraining an ankle, most running injuries are caused by ‚Äútraining errors.‚ÄĚ¬† Training errors happen when the stress of running exceeds our body‚Äôs ability to handle that stress.¬† We call the stress running places on the body ‚Äútraining load.‚ÄĚ¬†
There are two main types of training load: external and internal.¬† External loads include how many miles you run, how fast you run, how frequently you run, and the type of terrain on which you run.¬† As you run more miles per week at a faster pace with fewer recovery days on hilly terrain your external training loads go up.¬†¬†
Internal training loads are a bit less obvious and include things like sleep quality, hydration status, strength level, and previous injuries.¬† As your sleep quality, hydration status, and strength level go down your internal loads as you run go up.¬† Tack on any previous injuries and they go even higher.¬†¬†
The combination of high external and internal training loads with a poor ability to handle those loads increases your likelihood of becoming injured.¬†¬†
How do you fix a running injury?
To fix a running injury there needs to be a temporary reduction in training loads.¬† This usually means running less or not running at all.¬† Most runners don‚Äôt like this idea, but a small sacrifice in the short term will pay off in the long run (pun).¬†¬†
Fortunately, some amount of running is usually tolerated just fine while rehabbing an injury, and it will be up to you and your doctor to help determine the sweet spot.¬† At TruMotion Therapy, our Alter-G Anti-Gravity allows people to continue training while injured by reducing impact forces.¬†
During the injury recovery period the injured tissues need to be strengthened so they can better handle the demands of running when you return.¬† When appropriate, your mileage will be gradually increased.¬†¬†
Can you prevent running injuries?
While it‚Äôs impossible to truly prevent an injury, you can do things to stack the odds in your favor.¬† The main goal here is to keep the ‚Äúbody capacity‚ÄĚ and ‚Äútraining load‚ÄĚ balance from tilting too far.¬†¬†
- Train smart.¬† Train consistent.¬† The body does not like big fluctuations in training, like periods of time off followed by periods of intense high mileage.¬† If you’re increasing your weekly mileage, do so gradually.¬† If you have to take a couple weeks off for one reason or anther, build back up gradually.¬†¬†
- Recover.¬† Taking a recovery day or two can only help your training.¬† Running puts stress on the body and breaks down tissue.¬† Recovery heals the body and promotes the physiologic adaptations in our system we need to improve as runners.¬†¬†
- Strength Train.¬† Strength training improves bone mineral density, strengthens tendons, and enhances neuromuscular function.¬† It‚Äôs a great way to protect yourself from injury and improve performance.¬†¬†¬†
- Take Care of the ‚ÄúLittle‚ÄĚ Things.¬† Hydration, nutrition, and sleep play a huge role in decreasing the internal load while running and increasing your body‚Äôs capacity to handle mileage.¬†¬†¬†
The topic of running injuries is vast.¬† This article hits the main points of that topic as it relates to training.¬† The subject of shoe selection and gait can be separate articles in themselves, but they do not account for as many injuries as do training errors.¬†¬†
If you‚Äôre in the Charlotte area and are sidelined with a running injury, we‚Äôre here to help.¬† We combine modern chiropractic care, dry needling, functional movement, laser therapy, massage, and training advice to help you overcome injury and perform at your best.¬†¬†
Click HERE to schedule an appointment online.