Top 10 Injury Solutions For Runners

Injuries.  Often times these little things called injuries, a.k.a. aches and pains in the body, can cause runners/athletes to be sidelined for days, even weeks or months, if not tended to right away.  Worse case scenario, if not remedied immediately, can cause you to have surgery or permanently give up on running.

There are quite a few of you who have asked me about running injuries, or any type of ache/pain you have experienced as a result of a running routine you may be embracing.

There are many reasons for this happening and is fairly normal due to the impact of the training, life stressers, daily choices and imbalances showing up in your body just now after possibly weeks of feeling so great!

Shin Splints and Runner’s Knee, which are the top two most typical overuse injuries (amongst others) that shows up in training if your body is dysfunctional (imbalanced) in some way – mostly in the lower extremity anywhere from the core region on down.

This article can help you with that pain, if you have it, however here are some other KEY tips that can help you identify for sure where you source for the symptoms are.  Runner’s Knee/Shin splints are symptoms and not the cause of your pain.  Keep that one in mind.  If you train smart and follow a few or all of these following steps, you will not be sidelined from an injury (unless, of course, your injury has been assessed by a professional doctor that may think you have something more serious)
After making sure you have the right shoes for you and are stretching daily (whether you run daily or not), here are the top ten things to consider.
 
1.  Talk to me, or another running expert, about your pain as soon as you get/have something noticably different going on when you run.  If you don’t talk to someone immediately, we can not help you, and your injury may only get worse.

2.  Depending on the level of the pain, you will want to see a professional doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor right away to officially pinpoint the cause.  Make sure that the doctor works on runners either exclusively or as a majority of their practice and/or are runners themselves.  Get a referrral or check their credentials.  If they don’t work with runners or are not runners themselves, I would be a bit uncertain as to their response to healing the injury/source of the pain.  They love having patients, so their bias may come from a different mindset if they don’t run or have not worked with runners a lot.  Trust me, as I have been there before!

3.  Get a massage and/or see a chiropractor – both can bring healing and alignment to your body

4.  Make sure you are doing your core strengthening exercises.  Talk to me or a runner specific personal trainer that knows what helps balance your body and makes you more functional as you pound the pavement.

5.  Avoid speed work/intervals, steep hills, tempo work, long runs of six miles or more and running on concrete at all costs until the pain is back to a 0 on the pain scale.  In other words, if you have NO pain, you are at a 0 on the pain scale of 0 to 10.

6.  No running allowed if you have a pain level of 3 or greater on a scale of 10, with 10 being a debilitating pain that doesn’t even allow you to walk.  Cross training will be your friend, such as spinning, swimming, elliptical and running in a deep water pool.  I can give you formulas on all of these to equate the amount of running you would be doing.  As long as you can do these things with little to no pain, you can very likely not lose any fitness level even though you are not running.  I have done this several times and have always started/finished a race even if an injury came as close as two weeks from race time.

7.  80% of this training is mental.  If you don’t stay focused and as positive as possible through an injury,  your mind will do more damage than your body.  Read positive quotes, stay in touch with our running group and encourage them to reach their goals, cross train together and visualize you running in that race again.  Meditate. Pray.  Sing.  Do whatever it takes to renew your mind/Spirit on a daily basis.  Running is a long term sport as long as you don’t allow your mind/Spirit to be defeated and take you out of it.  Healing your body and renewing your Spirit is more important for the long term, so cross training and being out of the running loop is a smart thing to do.

8.  Get plenty of rest and fuel your body adequately.  Keep drinking lots of fluids and eating healthy.  Take your supplements.  Omega 3′s, probiotics and glucosamine are my best friends when I train and even when I don’t.  I have referrals of some great products if you don’t have those already in your daily habits.

9.  Be patient.  Undoubtedly this injury/pain did not happen overnight, but rather over your lifetime of physical/mental/chemical stressers and trauma.  It very well won’t heal overnight.

10.  Ice baths, foam rollers and anti-inflammatories are great support solutions.  They won’t go to the source of healing what is truly causing your pain, however, any inflammation is not helpful and these three things can help bring that down, which supports the overall healing process.  Besides, Omegas and Glucosamine, an ice bath (yes, a tub of water and ice) can help bring the inflammation down much better than a hot tub/shower.  Ice wraps are okay, however, not nearly as effective.  Jump in the ocean if you want to make it more fun!
Foam rollers are great options for every day use (other than massage) and can provide great relief to your lower extremity.  They release the stress in your body and can flush it out of those nasty spots that are holding onto the lactic acid, pain and inflammation.
Tylenol is the best anti-inflammatory if you are open to taking something.  It is proven the best out there for athetes, over ibuprofin, advil, etc.  It is the healthiest option out of any of them, based on studies done by www.runnersworld.com.

Here’s to your successful return to running.  After having many injuries myself and healing myself with the help of others many times, I know what it takes to keep you happy and running strong for the long haul.

Life is just like a marathon and each day, each choice, you make will make a difference in how you finish the race!
Yours in Transformational Success,

Lois Tiedemann Koffi
612-721-0907

www.LTKFITNESS.com

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