Running is often perceived as a good option for “getting into shape,” with little thought given to the form, or mechanics, of running. However, as many as 79% of all runners will sustain a running-related injury during any given year. If you are a runner—casual or serious—you should be aware that poor running mechanics may contribute to these injuries.
Warning Signs of Injury
What pain is ok?
• General muscle soreness
• Slight joint discomfort after workout or next day that is gone in 24 hours
• Slight stiffness at beginning of run or walk that dissipates after first 10 minutes
What pain is not okay? (You should not train!)
• Pain that is keeping you awake at night
• Pain that is evident at beginning of run/walk then becomes worse as run/walk continues
• Pain that changes your stride
How to Treat?
Research shows that runners can improve their running mechanics using visual and/or audio feedback training while being coached by a physical therapist. As a result of improved running form, runners may reduce their risk of injury. In addition, evaluation and correction of running form may benefit those who have knee or leg pain when running. During this evaluation, muscle imbalances and motor control issues may be identified that are contributing to poor running mechanics and increased forces on joints causing pain.
If you already have a running-related injury or want to reduce your risk of sustaining one in the future, supervised feedback from a sports medicine physical therapist, like those at Pain & Movement Solutions, can help.
For more information on improving your running form, as well as other strategies to reduce your risk of injury during running, attend the Running Solutions Seminar on Tuesday, March 15th @ 5:30 pm at the Pain & Movement Solutions clinic.