Pain free running?
We all run for different reasons. Whatever your reason for running – health, recreation, or competition, pain associated with running can get in the way. Running should NOT be painful. At times, uncomfortable – maybe a little achy – but not painful!
Due to the nature of the sport, and the increased impact on the body, it is of great importance to be in optimal health when running. However often we run to get in shape, but we must also be in shape to run. A predicament arises…..
Muscles work to both propel and to stabilize the body. The large force producing
muscles propel and the small intricate muscles stabilize. Without good muscular balance, we develop gait abnormalities which can then lead to joint and muscular pain.
With every step, up to five times your body weight is transferred through your feet. As distances increase the small and importance stability musculature in the legs and hips actually often gets progressively weaker due to high muscular fatigue. It is important for all runners to maintain the strength in these muscles with a few simple exercises to be completed a few times per week (see over). Pain that does not go away should be assessed by your physiotherapist in order to maintain your running habits.
Put an end to your running injuries!
If your discomfort gets worse with each run, comes on sooner or takes longer to go away – it needs to be taken care of by a professional. An initial assessment uses various techniques to identify which muscles are too strong, too weak, too tight or too loose. I also look at footwear, running habits, cross training, and lifestyle in order to determine what else may be attributing to your pain. I am focused on providing a solution for your pain while allowing you to continue to run – leading your to your goals.
Treatments are one-on-one, and usually once per week. With most conditions, only a few visits are required to alleviate the pain. I utilize simple exercises that you can do at home to get your muscles working in proper balance. I also will teach you cues in order to change your gait in order to continue to run pain free.
Tips for pain free running!
- The correct running shoe is crucial. Often pain during or after running is associated with inadequate footwear support. Ask your local running store about the correct shoe for your foot type.
- If you can’t balance on one foot at rest without your arch collapsing and your knee going inwards for at least 30 seconds, your muscular stability is weak – give it a try!
- “Running it off” doesn’t get rid of the problem.
- Stopping your running isn’t the only way of reducing your pain. We can often alleviate your pain while keeping up with your running group and achieving your goals!
- Occasionally go for a trail run. This tests the musculature stability and keeps the muscles ready for the unexpected!
- Do alternative methods of training. This helps increase muscular endurance while targeting the muscles in a new way and maintaining motivation!
Exercises to increase muscular stability
- In a seated position with your heels on the floor, curl toes under your feet. Tap your toes on the ground repeatedly for 2-3 inutes. Cramping is normal and a sign of shin imbalance. If you get a cramp, stretch it out, then resume tapping when it subsides.
- Using a foam roller, lie with the side of the lower leg on the roll. Support your body weight with your arms and opposite leg. Roll your body up and down, putting pressure on the outside of your lower leg. This should be uncomfortable, and the more that you can tolerate, the better!
- Lie on your back with legs bent at the knees. Lift one foot off the ground.
- Raise hips off the floor while maintaining hip and core stability. Lift as high as you can.