5 Ways You Can Avoid Running Injury


5 Ways You Can Avoid Running InjuryThere is nothing more upsetting to a runner than suffering an injury. Weeks, months, and even years of training and fitness can be jeopardized by a slip on the ice, a turn of the ankle, or a chronic overuse injury. As runners get closer to their goal race, a paranoia starts to build. Here are some simple ways you can avoid injury and stay sane.

Running Injured

According to the Harvard Gazette, between 30 and 80 percent of all regular runners are injured in a given year. The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation narrows it down a bit more, reporting that nearly 70 percent of all runners will become injured. Let’s think about that for just a second. Seven out of every 10 runners are suffering from injury on an annual basis. Chances are, if you’re a runner, you’ll be injured, too.

The most common running injuries are those caused by repetitive movements and stresses on the joints and tendons. You may recognize some of these more frustrating running injuries.

Runner’s Knee – Pain near the kneecap, especially after sitting for extended periods of time with knees bent or while walking down stairs or downhill.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome – Pain or aching on the outside of the knee, usually occurring in the middle or at the end of a run.

Shin Splints – Pain occurring in either the front or inside portions of the lower leg.

Achilles Tendinitis – Pain that begins as a mild ache in the back of the leg or above the heel after running.

Plantar Fasciitis – The pain is most noticeable when the foot flattens during weight-bearing or when pushing off with the toes during walking or running, and it is usually located near the heel.

Causes of Running Injury

There are two main causes of running injury: structural imbalance and training volume. Both can lead to injury, and many times the cause of the injury is not easy to diagnose. For example a foot problem can cause a problem in the knees, hips, or back. Finding, and treating, the cause of a running injury is the job of a trained expert.

Structural imbalance occurs when the body is misaligned, or when a certain muscle group is weak and requires other muscle groups to compensate. Structural imbalances can be caused by physical attributes like uneven leg length or severe overpronation of the foot. These physical problems will cause running injury unless diagnosed and treated.

The body adapts to stresses and becomes stronger. This is the basic principle of training. But, if you push too fast or run too far, you can stress the body in such a way that it never has time to fully recover and weakens instead. Training progression and temperance are the keys to avoiding overuse injury.

5 Ways to Avoid Running Injury

1. Prepare your body for running by walking. If you’re a new runner, or returning to running after a long hiatus, you’ll want to start slowly and condition your muscles with a regular walking program. Cross-training activities like swimming, rowing, or cycling will help with the cardiovascular aspect of running. But, walking will strengthen the muscles, joints, and tendons where running injury often occurs.

2. Understand your body type and be patient. For every pound of weight a person carries, they have four pounds on the knee when running. In other words, if you weigh 180 pounds, there are 720 pounds of force on the knee with each foot strike.

3. Follow a sensible training plan or find a coach. Your training plan should consist of mostly easy days. The progression of a decent training plan accounts for rest in daily, weekly and monthly cycles. Remember that a generic plan is nothing more than a good suggestion. You can, and should, deviate from the plan if your body is sending you signals that something isn’t right. If you’re lucky enough to have a running coach, communicate openly about any concerns you have.

4. Wear the right shoes. There are all kinds of shoes out there. Find a pair that feels good on your feet and compliments your running style. Replace your shoes when they no longer feel good. Specialty running stores can help you find the right type of shoe, but always ask about their return policy.

5. Practice injury prevention. Always warm up slowly for 10 minutes before running. Do some dynamic stretching before your runs and some static stretching after your runs. Foam roll tired muscles before and/or after runs. Ice and elevate any potential injury spots as soon as you feel them. Incorporate some strength training in your weekly routine to help strengthen your core and stabilize your body to prevent injury.

Seek the advice of medical professionals before your injury stops you from running. And, most importantly, listen to your body and recognize the signs of overtraining so that you can avoid running injury.

Jason is an experienced distance runner, RRCA certified coach, and editor ofSaltmarshRunning.com

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-saltmarsh/avoid-running-injury_b_5648971.html

Related Online Continuing Education (CE/CEU) Course:

Therapeutic Aspects of Running is a 1-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that will help you become familiar with the physical and psychological rewards involved in the activity of running, identify risks and the most common running injuries – along with their symptoms and most probable causes – and describe strategies that can be used in preventing running injuries and developing a healthy individualized running regimen.

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625); the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

New Name and Focus Concerning Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

By Kim Smith

New name and focus concerning post-traumatic stress disorderIt has gone by many names: battle fatigue, shell shock, soldier’s heart. Most recently it has been called post-traumatic stress disorder.

But as the number of identified cases of post-traumatic stress has skyrocketed among soldiers, returned veterans and first-responders — police officers, firefighters, paramedics, etc. — it may soon undergo another name change.

In its revised handbook, “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” the American Psychiatric Association may reclassify post-traumatic stress as an “injury,” rather than a “disorder.”

The hope is that the name change will remove a perceived stigma that may be keeping PTS suffers away from the help they need.

Post-traumatic stress refers to the intense and potentially crippling symptoms that some people experience after a traumatic event, such as combat or horrific crimes. The symptoms can include flashbacks, isolation, hyperarousal and rage.

The idea of a name change was initially promoted by the Army, particularly Gen. Peter Chiarelli, who until his retirement in February led the military’s effort to reduce a record-high suicide rate among the troops.

“No 19-year-old kid wants to be told he’s got a disorder,” Chiarelli told APA members and news reporters. An “injury” may be perceived as more treatable and combat-related. The hope is that active-duty soldiers experiencing PTS will reach out for help and their superiors will be more supportive.

The military has good reason for concern about what PTS is called and efforts to provide help to sufferers. According to recent reports, 1 in 6 soldiers is reporting anxiety, depression or symptoms of PTS. With the total number of soldiers having served in Iraq or Afghanistan now numbering about 1 million, an estimated 100,000 soldiers are expected to require long-term mental health care.

And as these numbers continue to grow, concern is being expressed not just about what to call PTS, but how to treat it.

This spring, the Army surgeon general’s office issued a warning to regional medical commanders about the long-standing use of prescription psychotropic drugs to treat PTS. An April policy memo warned that some of the drugs — or “cocktails” of drugs — could intensify, rather than reduce combat stress symptoms and lead to addiction.

A July 2010 Army report noted that one-third of all active-duty military suicides involved prescription drugs. Combined with alcohol abuse, the long-standing protocol for treating PTS could be lethal.

This is not to say that commonly used psychotropic drugs, in conjunction with counseling and therapy, should be abandoned.

But what is needed — and what is now being recognized by military officials — is the combination of a variety of treatments. Some of treatments that were once dismissed as “unproven alternatives” are now being embraced.

For example, I use neurofeedback to treat veterans at Neurofeedback Train Your Brain in Bakersfield. Neurofeedback is training in brain function based on information derived from an electroencephalogram (EEG). The process can bring fairly rapid improvements in sleep problems, pain, anger management and substance dependency. The Veterans Administration is spending about $5 million on a dozen clinical trials and demonstration studies of three meditation techniques to help veterans manage stress and depression. Other “alternative” treatments include acupuncture, yoga and therapy dogs.

A unique, local pilot project that is being conducted under the auspices of Kern County Rotary is an example of what can be accomplished when a need is recognized and addressed.

The Rotary Clubs’ Kern Post Traumatic Stress Assistance project (www.kernptsa.org) provides education, resources, treatment options, community outreach, fundraising and support to veterans and first responders and their families in Kern County. The project is the first step in a global movement of Rotary International to provide resources and support to individuals and families suffering from PTS. On the project’s website are listings for support groups, government agencies and treatment providers, such as Neurofeedback Train Your Brain.

The good news is that PTS finally is receiving the level of attention that the disorder (or injury) and its sufferers deserve. It is bringing together government agencies, community groups and mental health care providers in a campaign to honor soldiers, veterans and first responders by giving them the help they deserve.

Kimberly Smith of Bakersfield is the neurofeedback clinician at Neurofeedback Train Your Brain (www.kerntyb.com).

Source: http://www.bakersfield.com/archive/x791381896/New-name-and-focus-concerning-post-traumatic-stress-disorder