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Tips for Happy Running – An Osteopathic Insight.

Running is a great way to stay healthy and fit. From improving the health of your heart and lungs and reducing your risk of various diseases, to improving your mood and self-confidence, running has numerous benefits, which is why it appeals to almost anyone.

How do I prevent Injuries?

The biggest reason people get injured whilst running is inappropriate load management. Essentially this means making big jumps in how much and/or hard you run. Load isn't just the number of kilometres you do but also the type of running such as intensity, hills or intervals. To prevent injury, you should implement progressive overload which is slowly increasing your runs by 10% each week. Studies have shown that a 30% increase in training load leads to a high risk of injury (Nielsen et al. 2014).

Go hard or go home!! …Or NOT!!

People often think when they have to run as fast and hard as they can to get the most benefit. However, this is a myth and in fact is a huge risk factor for injury! If you don’t allow your body the time to recover and heal between runs, the likelihood of injury increases dramatically.

The 80/20 rule is a widely adopted rule in runners that has scientific research supporting it (Seiler 2010). The 80/20 rule suggests that 80% of your runs should be easy runs to build kilometres in the legs without having to work too hard, and 20% of your runs should be more challenging to increase your speed. This means if you run 5 times per week, 4 of your runs should be easy to help your body recover and to build fitness efficiently.

Sleep tight! 😴

Another tip to help prevent injury is getting a good night's sleep. While the average adult might need 7-9 hours of sleep, athletes or people who are more active will require more! (Milewski et al. 2014). Studies have shown that athletes who averaged under 8 hours of sleep per night were 1.7 times more likely to become injured. Even if our load stays the same and our progressive overload is perfect, if we sleep less compared to normal, our body is less likely to adapt to your normal load which will increase your chance of injury.

Common running injuries seen in the clinic include:

• Plantar Fasciitis

• Shin Splints

• Muscle pain and strains

• Patellofemoral pain

• ITB syndrome

• Lower back pain

• Achilles tendinopathy

• Hamstring tendinopathy

• Lateral hip pain

• Cramping and muscular spasms.

Most of these injuries are caused by overuse which is why it's important to manage your load effectively.

Arthritis & Running – Uncovering the Myths & Facts.

People often say the reason they don't run is because it will wear out their joints and lead to arthritis. However, studies actually demonstrate the opposite to be true. Ponzio et al. (2018) stated that the rate of hip and knee arthritis in U.S. marathon runners was 8.8% which was significantly lower than the rate in the matched U.S. general population of 17.9%. This is because our bodies are designed to move and be strengthened. It's now been discovered that arthritis is not a "wear and tear" condition like we once thought but it's actually seen more often in people who aren't using their bodies in the way it wants to be used.

Running Analysis – Why technique is so important.

Accurate assessment of running technique and posture is important as poor running style can predispose you to certain injuries and make you a less efficient runner. It is important to not only consider the foot and ankle when doing a gait analysis, but also look the whole way up the body to see what other factors may be contributing to the movement patterns. Armed with insights gained for our assessment, we can give small cues to adapt your running style to make you more efficient and less prone to injury. To analyse your running we look from side-on and from behind, making note of your posture, step length, cadence, step width, the way you land, how much you bend your knees, and heaps of other key indicators. This helps us to help guide you to achieve your goals, rehabilitate your injuries, strengthen your body and help you feel your best whilst running.

Let us help you take the first steps to recovery!

Our team of professionals can assess your running technique, running shoes and training schedule alongside a specific musculoskeletal examination to identify how your injury has occurred. Our Osteopaths use hands-on techniques such as soft tissue, stretching, mobilisation, manipulation and dry needling to release tight muscles and joint restrictions. Seeing an Osteo is not just for the injured but can be a great way to prevent future injuries and keep your running at your best. Osteos may also prescribe a range of strengthening exercises to keep you strong and running efficiently.

At Complete Care Osteopathy in Lilydale, we have a comprehensive understanding of different types of running and sports injuries. We have worked with elite and amateur athletes and local sporting clubs, providing individualised care for their musculoskeletal needs.

If you’d like to know more,

call us on (03) 7036 6525

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