Don’t run the risk of injury
With the number of running clubs and seasoned runners on the rise, this month Rebecca Nelson, owner of Ireland’s leading physiotherapy and sports injury clinic, Apex Clinic, offers advice on staying pain free and preventing injury.
Get the right gear
Whether you’re new to running or an experienced runner, getting the right kit is essential. If your trainers have seen better days, now might be the time to invest in a new pair. A specialist running shop will provide advice on the latest trainer technology. If you have a specific foot problem, our podiatrists can assess whether insoles (orthoses) are necessary, as well as suggesting the most appropriate trainers for your foot type.
Clothing is also important as wearing several layers for your run is essential. Keeping muscles warm will reduce the chance of soft tissue injury so layer clothes and remove items as required.
Mind your muscles
Research has indicated that warming up before exercise is more beneficial than stretching before exercise for reducing injury. We recommend a brisk walk of four to five minutes before running to increase the temperature of the muscles, making the collagen fibres more elastic. Stretching your quads, hamstrings and calves immediately after your run is important as this maintains flexibility.
New to running?
If you are new to running, the golden rule is don’t do too much too soon as this greatly increases your risk of injury. Introduce running into your fitness routine with a walking/running program. Begin with two minutes of walking followed by two minutes of running in intervals for 10 to 15 minutes on the flat, gradually increasing the length of each session over time. Repeat two to three times per week, with a day’s break in between times.
On the surface
Research suggests that more frequent runners should limit running on road or pavements to two or three times per week. This is much kinder to the joint surfaces in the knees and hips. Alternate road running with grass, bark or treadmill surfaces, which are kinder to lower limb joints as the shock absorption is higher on these surfaces. Another alternative to road running is aquajogging, which involves running with an aqua-jogging belt in a pool and is excellent for reducing the load on all your joints.
Shin splint is one of the most common running injuries. If you are suffering from shin splints, our team at Apex Clinic can provide a thorough assessment to determine what exactly is causing the pain, before devising a treatment plan aimed at the specific cause to clear it. In the vast majority of cases shin splints can be cleared with the correct treatment.
Sports massage for happy muscles
Sports or deep soft tissue massage is recommended monthly for anyone who runs twice weekly or more. This type of massage focuses on the deep layers of muscle tissue in order to keep the tissue more supple. Regular sports massage helps break up scar tissue in the leg muscles, which if left to build up will increase the risk of pulling a muscle.
Stopping pain in its tracks
If pain is affecting you, seek help with our experienced physios as soon as possible to get you running pain free again.
To book an appointment at Apex Clinic call 028 9048 4153. No GP referral is required.