How To Prevent Pain & Injury From Running

August 11, 2020

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As gyms remain closed until further notice, most of us have taken up other forms of fitness.

The easiest form of cardio even before the pandemic most people would say is running.

Whether just going outside for a 5k or training for a marathon, running is essentially a form of cardio and comes with its own realm of proper technique and injuries.

As a marathon runner myself I like to think I can race like Des Linden and make running seem effortless when in truth I am overstriding and neglecting proper gluteal muscle recruitment just like everyone else.

The good news is that despite how one may appear while running, there are simple exercises and drills to incorporate to help minimize injury and even develop proper muscle recruitment with minimal equipment.

Preventing injury while running

When it comes to tolerating the impact that running produces on our joints, the goal is to implement as much muscle balance as possible.

One of the most common pitfalls of running is knee pain.

Patella-femoral injuries are usually the result of an increased reliance on the quadriceps muscles and a decreased reliance on the gluteal muscles.

The glute max is a very powerful and fatigue-resistant hip extensor muscle that has multiple functions all of which hugely benefit running form.

The gluteal muscles work to generate the propulsive force necessary to move a runner forward stride after stride.

In order to train a proper stride movement pattern, it is essential to focus on systematic muscle coordination and not isolated motions.

Exercises and stretches to prevent pain and injury while running

To produce long-term gains when it comes to running there are a few key exercises that I prefer as either a warm-up  before a run, an actual workout depending on the amount of repetition and resistance or even as just preventative care. Check them out in the following downloadable PDF file:

At Integrative Spine & Sports in New York City, we see a lot of patients for knee pain treatment and foot/ankle pain treatment. If you are experiencing pain during or after running, contact us for a consultation.

Reference book: Running Rewired by Jay Dicharry 

This article is written by Amelia A. Rivera PT, DPT, SCS, Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist at Integrative Spine & Sports. Learn more about Amelia here.

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