Personal Training

Monday, April 18, 2011

Run Out Of Trouble

If you've been running and/or playing sports for a while, it's very likely that you may suffer (if not already) from a sprained ankle, tennis elbow, runner's knee pain, shin splints, strains, sprains and tears. Even if these are not severe one thing is for sure... being injured sucks!

So what can you do about it and how can you avoid most of them?

Keep in mind that it doesn't matters if you run, play sports or just sit at a desk all day the chances of something knocking you over or you knocking yourself out is very high. However there are many things you could do to avoid or reduce the risk of injuries.

First of all you need to stretch properly your muscles and ligaments, which in turn will alleviate the stress on the joints and connective tissues.

One Leg DeadLift - Toe Touch
Strength training is also a big plus because when you run or walk your quad muscles become the primary mover. Therefore the more stronger and powerful those muscles are it will lead to a more efficient running style. Focus on exercises that will improve strength on your quad muscles (rectus femoris, vastus medialis and vastus lateralis). Some exercises recommended are squats, step ups, lunges; also focus on exercises that improve knee stabilization such as single joint 1 leg deadlift, and hip flexion, hip extension, abduction (outer thigh/hip), adduction (inner thigh/hip), and low-back extensions.

What if you already have some sort of pain or discomfort while running?  While I won't be able to cover everything I'll address 2: anterior knee pain and shin splints. However I must clarify if you are experiencing constant pain in your knees or other muscles/joint group get yourself checked out. It could be a tear and depending on the severity of it you may need to take more time off to recover, in some cases surgery becomes the only option.

ANTERIOR KNEE PAIN: It could mean many different conditions, but its usually pain that occurs in the front and center of the knee. In your case since you are a runner it could most likely be what's considered "runners knee, jumpers knee, tendonitis, etc". Which may come from strained tendons and irritation or softening of the cartilage that lines the underside of the kneecap.

People with AKP frequently complain of dull pain, which is worse running, squatting, jumping, getting up from a chair or out of a car, or walking up or down stairs. Sometimes the knee clicks or locks. Sometimes it is swollen.

It may happen because you have flat feet, weak muscles in your quads and hamstrings or maybe they are too tight; it can also be caused by over training or a more severe condition.

Strength training will help make the surrounding muscles stronger and keep the kneecap in place. Depending on how much pain you are or have been you may need to sit out for a while. Use some of the exercises mentioned above to help you get stronger and reduce the risk of injuries.

If pain is acute, ice or anti-inflammatory medication may help. You can use the R.I.C.E. stuff too.

SHIN SPLINTS:  also called tibial stress syndrome is referred to as the lower leg pain (a burning sensation, swelling and/or tenderness) that occurs either on the front outside part of your leg or the inside part of your leg. It can also be a small tear in the muscle or muscle inflammation.

It may plague novice runners who especially over train (they don't gradually build up their millage READ: ARE YOU RUNNING) or more experienced runners who just over train as well and end up developing small stress fractures, or sometimes it's caused by overpronation or flat feet which may cause the connective surrounding the are to over stretch causing irritation... regardless many athletes and non-athletes complain about it.

If you are very tight you need to stretch and massage the area (your Achilles) or calves if your have either medial shin splints or anterior shin splints. Applying the R.I.C.E. treatment may also help. Performing range of motion exercises and sometimes you might need anti-inflammatory medication.

I hope this information help you improve your running game but also help you reduce the risk o injuries and/or apply proper treatment. Remember if pain is constant you better visit your Dr so you make sure you are not suffering from a more severe injury.

"Dedicated to your success" - Ed

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