Running is one of the most common exercises and has range of health benefits, however it can also lead to issues which your local physio can help with. People run for various reasons such as improving their fitness or losing weight, but just how good is it for the body?
Running is good for your heart. Studies have shown that people who run at least 10 minutes a day have a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases as opposed to those who do not run. Whenever you run, your resting heart rate decreases allowing your heart to work less than it should.
Running grows cartilage. Contrary to common belief, running is not necessarily bad for your knees. According to the study conducted by Australia's Monash University, the impact of running helps in increasing the production of cartilage in your body; thus protecting your joints from arthritis.
Running regenerates muscle. A study from the University of Illinois found that a certain type of stem cell gets triggered by exercise to activate other cells to produce new muscle.
Running helps migraines. Researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden have discovered that people who exercise at least 40 minutes three times a week experience fewer migraines.
Running improves your mood. When you go out for a run, your brain produces two chemicals that make you feel good: endorphins and endocannabinoids.
There are plenty of other health benefits that running regularly can do to the body. And since running is free and easy to do, many people jump on the bandwagon and start doing the exercise. Unfortunately, some fail to realise that there are also some risks involved in running that could land them in a local physio clinic. Because of this, it is important to know how to be cautious with running so you don’t have to head to a physiotherapy clinic after your first run.
Common running injuries from experience as local physios
If you are considering running for the first time, there are a number of common injuries that may occur that you should be aware of.
Soft tissue injuries
These common running injuries are typically caused by a number of factors such as:
Incorrect running. It is important that you read up on some tips on how you can run properly. An inappropriate running technique can lead to a number or short or long term injuries. For example, if you run flat-footed you might stress your shin muscles. As a result, you may encounter small tears.
Straining yourself. If it is your first time running, you should listen to your body and look out for any messages it sends to you. Avoid running beyond your current fitness level as it will place unnecessary strain on your tendons, muscles, and ligaments. When this happens, you may experience shin, knee or hip pain which is likely to require the help of a local physio.
Running on hard surfaces. You may also encounter shin pain and stress fractures if you run on hard surfaces. Seek out softer surfaces such as grass, sand or dirt initially, and gradually increase your distances and loads.
Wearing uncomfortable clothing. It's important to consider the clothing that you wear when you go out for a run. Inappropriate clothing can lead to overheating, a cold related injury or sunburn. Check the weather forecast and wear suitable clothing that is light weight, breathable and comfortable.
Wearing the wrong shoes. You should also remember to wear the right type of shoes so you avoid encountering shin pain or blisters. A footwear specialist or podiatrist will be able to provide guidance on the most appropriate shoes.
Dealing with a running injury
If you get injured while you are out for a run or are experiencing discomfort when you’re finished, make sure to follow these tips:
Stop running. Your condition will not improve if you push yourself through the pain.
If you are experiencing cramping, light stretching will help release muscle tension.
Seek the help of a local physio for diagnosis and treatment. If you don't know where to get help, open your phone and search for a ‘physiotherapy near me’ suggestion.
If you have a ligament or muscle sprain, treat it with an ice pack, elevation, compression, and rest.
Regular physiotherapy treatments can help with the injury and improve your well-being.
Can you run again?
In many cases, people who encounter a running injury will wonder if they will still be able to run once again. The best way to start running again is to make sure you allow the injury to heal completely. Melbourne Sports Physio have an expert team that can provide advice, assistance and offer different ways for you to reduce the risk of facing another running injury. This trusted medical advice is the best way to get back on your feet and start running once again.