Important Factors To Decrease Your Pain With Running

Running has become an ever growing sport and exercise choice for some time now. Regardless if you are wanting to run a 5k, qualify for The Boston Marathon, or just mix in running for some cardio support... it can be very beneficial. Over time, like with most activities, there will be some point where we get injured. Of course this is never wanted because it usually means rest and a break from the activities we love.

With the absence of a direct trauma like rolling our ankle or lifting weights that are too heavy/ most injuries I have seen are self-induced. It does not mean that you hoped and prayed that your knee would hurt after two miles. What this means is there is something that is likely in your training or cross training that has set up the dominoes to fall a certain way. These problems are especially so in runners of all distances. Usually the largest culprits are plantar fasciitis, IT Band problems, or muscle aches and pains.

Sometimes the easiest and most simple fix is to make sure you are using the correct shoes. The average life span of most shoes is probably 200-300 miles which can vary from shoe to shoe. But if you have a shoe that is too big, too small, or the wrong type of support it should be easy to see how and why it causes problems. This can be especially apparent in distance runners because they might be on a run for 4+ hours in their shoes that aren’t quite perfect.

Another issue is how you are HOW you are actually running which many determine if you have pain or not. Some of the larger problems can be WHERE you are running. We can all agree that running on the street or sidewalk is very different when compared to running on a trail. The trail clearly has uneven ground and sometimes rocks, hills, or logs that will require you to change running patterns for at least a split second when compared to city running which is normally flat. There can also be problems with city running especially when running on the street. Streets have a slight slope to them so that rain or water goes down to the curb and gutter and doesn’t flood the street. If you are always running on the street then you are likely running slightly titled. Also our running patterns can greatly determine how and when we get injured. Even if running seems normal and easy it doesn’t mean that you aren’t setting yourself up for success and being injury free.

Any proper training program should take all of these factors into consideration so that you can continue to train injury free.

Dr. Kevin Cheung, DPT