Our guide to preventing running and jogging injuries can be useful for runners/joggers of all levels—from those who are long-time runners/joggers to those who are just beginning this type of exercise. When it comes to keeping yourself injury free, it’s important you are informed.
3 out of 4 running injuries are joint-related and occur in the lower extremities. They can include an injury to the calf muscles, knee, ankle, shin, Achilles tendon, and foot. You may also experience back and groin injuries.
These injuries can occur due to wear and tear over time, but they also can happen as an acute injury. Overuse injuries are quite common, but there are strategies to overcome them, so pay attention to these tips and use them as a guide to preventing injuries.
Invest in the Right Shoes
They cost a little more than a typical pair of sneakers, but your feet and your body will thank you. A good pair of running shoes will help to reduce the pressure on your hips, legs, and knees.
Even expensive running shoes should be replaced every 400 to 600 miles of use. They may still look OK, but they may have lost the needed structure to give you the support you need.
Know When to Slow Down
Nobody knows your body like you do. If you begin to feel aches or pains during your run, that’s your body telling you to take a break. Maybe it’s time to skip a day of running and rest, or maybe decide to walk that day. Knowing the difference between soreness and pain can be invaluable.
It’s important to remember that if you become overly tired or fatigued, you are more at risk for an injury.
Build Strength and Flexibility
The stronger your muscles are, the less likely they will break down. Strength training can help increase muscle tone, endurance and bone density. Keep your body loose and limber. Yoga can help with increasing flexibility. Talk with Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic in West Georgia and East Alabama about other suggestions.
If you have a personal plan to increase your speed, endurance, or run a marathon, be careful not to go too quickly. It can lead to an injury. Decide to increase your run mileage by no more than 10% per week. If you add more, you risk overtaxing your muscles and joints leading to inflammation and injury.
The Non-Negotiables to Preventing Injuries
In addition to the tips above, here are some non-negotiables in preventing running and jogging injuries:
- Never skip your warm up or cool down
- Relax sore muscles with ice and heat
- Stay hydrated
- Use over-the-counter pain aids as needed
- Eat healthy and get enough sleep
Contact Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic at (770) 834-0873 if you suspect you have developed an injury and at-home remedies are not helping.