3 Short & Long Distance Running Injuries & How to Treat them

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Author: Teri & Ellen from WeckMethod.com.

Running injuries aren’t fun. They can leave you sidelined from your favorite activities as your body forces you to recover safely. And we’re not just talking about injuries that result from long distance running but the kind of injuries that sneak up on a basketball player doing crossover, a tennis player sprinting sideline to sideline, or even the race enthusiast prepping for the upcoming Color Run. The sad reality is that novice runners, expert runners and everyone in between can be susceptible to running related injuries.

Here are three common running related injuries and what you can do to treat them if you’re unfortunate enough to encounter them.

1. PLANTAR FASCIITIS:

Sometimes you’re not even familiar with the name of an injury until you realize you have the symptoms. Plantar Fasciitis was that type of injury for me. Once you break down the name, however, it makes a lot more sense.Plantar = bottom of your foot, Fascia = connective tissue in your body (in this case, the tissue in the bottom of your foot), ITIS = inflammation. Plantar Fasciitis occurs when blood isn’t flowing properly to the tissue located in the bottom of your foot. How might this happen? Think footwear. Shoes can trap the feet and constrict the natural blood flow and cause the tissue to die. One of the reasons runners are always talking about the importance of selecting the right shoe for your foot.

Plantar fasciitis can cause extreme discomfort that is difficult to ignore. It limits your pain free range of motion and creates imbalances throughout your entire body. To say this can affect your performance is an understatement.

How you can help treat it: Luckily, there are several different treatment techniques and strategies for Plantar Fasciitis. You can read up on Plantar Fasciitis Stretches for Foot Pain Relief , but one of my favorites is the Sock Stretch. There’s no fancy equipment required and you can do it while you’re watching TV! This stretch will help position your foot in a way that gives you relief by improving blood supply. All you have to do is

  • Grab a sock and slide one of your big toes inside (leaving your other toes outside of the sock)
  • And then slide in the other big toe.
  • Line up your feet straight
  • And spread the big toes
  • Progress by spreading the other toes best you can

2. KNEE PAIN

There are a number of reasons you may be feeling discomfort (or occasional popping sound) in the knee region. Running on uneven surfaces, biomechanical flaws, imbalance of strength in the muscles, and not enough recovery time are some of the most common causes for knee related injuries. Your best bet to avoid knee joint discomfort is to focus on knee strengthening and the common muscles associated with knee pain. For example, unhealthy hip strength while squatting or running can lead to unnecessary strain on the knee because of the compensation of effort they’re required to produce.

How you can help treat it: Add exercises to your functional training or cross strength training that focus on eliminating muscle imbalances. The Vastus Medialis is a (Quadriceps) muscle that is often associated with knee pain and highly involved with knee stability during movements. When this muscle is weak, it’s unable to assist in holding the kneecap in its proper alignment.

Dr. John Rusin shows in the video below how to execute a Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat. This is a great exercise because it helps eliminate two common factors associated with knee pain: poor hip mobility and weak Quadriceps.

3. ANKLE SPRAIN

If I could choose any injury to be a pet peeve of mine, it would have to be the ankle sprain. Something as mundane as walking to the car can result in an ankle sprain. All it takes is a bit of uneven pavement. It doesn’t get much more pet peevish than that. “Avoidable” factors can lead to ankle injuries as well, such as: mild sprains that go untreated, incorrect positioning during exercises, and poor/limited ankle mobility. I call it avoidable because there are stretches and routines you can impalement that can help reduce the chance of stumbling upon an ankle sprain.

How you can help treat it: Most professionals will say to use the RICE (Rest, ICE, Compress, Elevation)Method, which is an age tested method. But another factor that should be added to that method is to slowly progress your range of motion during your recovery. Using the BOSU Elite to strengthen and stabilize your ankle before you get severely sidelined is the first line of defense, but when you’re already injured, you should seek out the BOSU Elite to help rebuild your ankle strength and pain-free range of motion (after the majority of swelling decreases and pain is no longer unbearable).

What you do is:

  • First position your feet on the ball behind the Power Line, in the Power Zone so your toes are higher than your heels. – Depending on your range of motion, you may need to hold onto a stick or pole in front of you for additional support
  • Now slowly lift a heel off of the BOSU Elite
  • Next pulse back and forth between each raising each foot and re-distributing your weight

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You’ll notice I mentioned holding on to stick in the steps above. This is recommended because when you’re feet are in the Power Zone it creates dynamic dorsiflexion, and depending on the range of motion of your ankles, this could be something that your body is not accustomed to. The standing position alone is going to help you not only strengthen your ankles but establish better ground base movement as well. If you don’t have access to a BOSU Elite, you can use an original BOSU but please note that BOSU Elite is going to load the feet better because of the increased resistance the firmer dome provides.

So remember, the best kinds of injuries are the ones that never happen to you. Familiarize yourself with some of the common injuries listed here, learn how to prevent them from happening, and if needed treat them using the stretches and exercises provided.


WeckMethod-Arrow-Logo-9524333e66dcbdc3cad1932602277582 The WeckMethod is unique in that it approaches fitness by balancing both sides of your body, balancing strength and coordination, balancing power and efficiency, and balancing athletic movement with proper body alignment. If you wish to learn more about how the WeckMethod can impact your fitness goals or to visit a facility where the WeckMethod is taught, visit their website.

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