How to run pain-free & feel fantastic!

With an increase in the number of people taking up running, and seasoned runners on the rise, Apex Clinic Founder and Physiotherapy Specialist, Rebecca Nelson, says: “Don’t run the risk of injury”, with top advice on staying pain-free while running.

Ready, set…go!

Before you get started, there are a few essential basic pieces of equipment that you’ll need. If your trusty trainers are showing signs of wear and tear, it’s time to ditch them in favour of a new pair. Head to a specialist running shop for expert advice on the latest trainer technology. Or, if you have a specific foot problem, our team of podiatrists can assess whether insoles (orthoses) are needed, as well as the best trainers for your foot type.

You’ll also need appropriate clothing before you set off. Good layering is essential in order to keep muscles warm, reducing the likelihood of a muscle strain. Wrap up and remove layers as necessary.

Warm up before you run

Resist the urge to just start running without properly warming up first. Research has shown that warming up before exercise is actually more beneficial than stretching. Start your warm up with fast walking for four to five minutes, or some gentle jogging on the spot. Post-run, a few stretches of your quads, hamstrings and calves may be beneficial to maintain the flexibility of your leg muscles.

Novice runner?

If you’re new to running, a great way to get started is to break yourself in by using a walking/running programme, as too much too soon will increase your risk of injury. Begin with two minutes of walking followed by two minutes of running in intervals for ten to 15 minutes on the flat, and then gradually over time, increase the amount of running in your regime. This should be done two to three times weekly and not on consecutive days to avoid injury.

Choose a suitable surface

Research suggests that more frequent runners should limit running on roads or pavements to two to three times per week, alternating with softer surfaces with better shock absorption, such as grass, bark or treadmill, which are kinder to lower limb joints. Another alternative to road running is aqua-jogging, which involves running with an aqua-jogging belt in a pool, which is excellent for reducing the load through all your joints.

Say goodbye to shin splints

Shin splints are one of the most common running injuries, and one which we frequently treat and clear at Apex Clinic. With a thorough assessment, our team of physios can determine what exactly is causing your shin splints, and devise a treatment plan to clear the pain for good.

Keep muscles happy

If you run regularly (twice weekly or more), sports or deep tissue massage is recommended. This type of massage will focus on the deeper layers of muscle tissue in order to keep it more supple. Regular sports massage helps break up scar tissue and knots which if left to build up will increase the risk of tearing a muscle. Prevention, with massage is always better than the cure.

Don’t run the risk of injury

If pain is affecting you, seek the help of our experienced team of physios before the pain stops you in your tracks. We love to get all levels of runners back on the road, pain free again. To book an appointment at Apex Clinic, Belfast call 028 9048 4153. No GP referral is necessary.