Now that spring is finally in full swing in Buffalo, it is time for many of us to get our workouts in outside and enjoy the fresh air. The convenience of running allows us to grab a pair of shoes and hit the pavement at any time, while enjoying the wonderful fresh air and sunshine. However, if you are not careful, there’s a good change that you may have some sort of injury from overuse, by applying repeated force over a prolonged period of time that your body is not used to. When we suddenly make a change in training volume, whether we are a newbie or a seasoned runner, we run the risk of getting a common ailment caused by running.
Tenderness or pain around or behind the kneecap is a sign of patellofemoral pain syndrome, most commonly known as “runner’s knee” caused by the repetitive force of pounding on pavement or downhill running. Weak hips can put added stress on the kneecap, so run on flat or softer running surfaces (like a track) whenever possible. To treat the pain associated with this injury, try seeing a massage therapist who is certified to tape your knee with kinesiology tape, use a knee brace, and cut back on your mileage.
For swelling of the Achilles tendon, which connects your heel to your calf muscles, try changing your footwear and stretching tight calf muscles to relieve the inflammation. Plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation and irritation to the tissue on the bottom of your foot, can also be treated the same way. Anti-inflammatory medication and icing are another great way to start rehabilitating these injuries. Ankle sprains also commonly effect runners when the ankle rolls in or outward, stretching the ligaments surrounding the ankle. Recovery may be a little shaky at first, but many people suggest doing single-legged balance exercises to strengthen the muscles around the ankle. Kinesiology taping is also a great recovery tool because it provides enough support without limiting range of motion to promote recovery.
Shin splints are a nagging injury that occurs when the muscles (tibialis anterior) and tendons covering the top of your shinbone become inflamed. Icing and keeping your feet elevated will reduce the swelling associated with this injury. It is also beneficial to purchase some shock-absorbing insoles that support the arch of your foot.
Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome typically triggers pain on the outside, lateral part of your knee. This band becomes inflamed, pain is triggered on the outside of the knee because the tendon stretches from the pelvic bone all the way down your thigh. Downhill running and weakness of your hips will commonly cause this issue.
Remember, there is a fine line between pushing through pain and pushing your luck when it comes to recovering from an injury. To minimize aches and pains, don’t increase your mileage by more than ten percent each week to avoid overuse injuries. Take the time to properly warm up and cool down before and after your runs. Postural imbalances can be assessed by a physical therapist or massage therapist to help you identify and address biomechanical injuries that may lead to problems down the road, such as shin splints and back aches. Also, make sure you are taking at least one day off per week, mix up your workouts, and schedule some easier recovery runs. Massage therapy is a great way to relax on your rest days and give the body the recovery that you deserve! Message Stephanie at Jada Blitz’s own Blitz Body and Mind Massage to schedule an appointment today. She can be reached at (716)866-3261.