Archive for the ‘Injury’ Category

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What It Takes To Staying Injury Free

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

One of my worst nightmares as a runner is something happening to my legs and then not being able to run. And unfortunately some of us get injured every now-and-then to that point where we can’t run. But what does it take to remain injury free.

Well you can take it from me as I’ve at times remained injury free to significant amounts of time but on the other hand have had my share of running injuries. So here is what I’ve found works for me.

Isolating the area of your more common injuries and doing routine stretching of that area. I’ve found if I stretch out that specific area of my body I tend to be less likely to have an injury there. Although I’m not one that’s usually a guy who stretches. In fact I normally don’t stretch at all before or after a run. But I’ve found that if I only stretch that one area of my body after I run this does help prevent further injury.

Exercises for that common injured area. Another thing I’ve seen work is doing exercises to strengthen the areas you commonly have injured.  For example if your common injury is a calf muscle, you could do X amount of calf raises each day steadily working on making that area of your body stronger.

Vitamins, yes this does help quite a bit. I’ve noticed that vitamins do really help keep you injury free and to recover much faster than normal. The vitamins I take which really help me are things like calcium and magnesium. These are 2 nutrients that the muscles in the body actually use to make your muscles move. So you can guess what happens if you are lacking these. Now of course a word of disclaimer here. I’m not a doctor so you should consult your doctor before taking anything. And I have found to be true that every one needs somewhat different vitamins depending on their body’s needs. So I’d suggest going to a natural nutritionist or chiropractor as that’s what I’ve done and it’s really helped me.

Chiropractic adjustments for prevention recovery. I’ve been getting chiropractic adjustments since I was a little kid and I’ve hardly had any sicknesses growing up. And I’ve found it really helps with running. I mean think about it… if your body is out of alignment your running gate is going to be off (even just a little bit can cause major problems) and that being off is going to cause more stress to be placed on one muscle or area of your body thus weakening it and making you more susceptible to injury.

Using the proper shoes. Now this is something most dedicated runners are aware of so I’m not going to go into it too much. But what you want to do is make sure the shoes you have are the correct shoes for your foot and gate type.

Lastly don’t over do it. If you feel like you’re starting to get injured then simply take the day off or run less or not as hard. I’ve found this is an excellent way to prevent one self from being coming injured. If you can spot the fact your feeling a weakness in an area or muscle of your body then don’t put as much stress on it till it feels better. I know it’s not always what your running log says (to take a day off) but that’s better than having to take weeks off for an injury.

Well there you have it, these are just some of my personal tips on staying injury free. Do you have any tips?

Saying Shoes for Foot Types Cause Injury Is Bunk

Monday, August 9th, 2010

I recently read an article on Runner’s World about how Michael Ryan (a PH.D. in I believe Sports Medicine) stated “…our current approach of prescribing in-shoe pronation control systems on the basis of foot type is overly simplistic and potentially injurious”. But in reviewing his study I’ve found many issues with how it was conducted.

So lets start with the story, Ryan did a research study with Nike as a sponsor on women half-marathoners during a 13-week training period. They had each women wear a random pair of Nike’s specialized running shoe (ones for flat feet, modest arches, and normal arches) for the entire 13 week study. They then recorded injuries over the course of that time to find who had the lower injury rate. There hypothesis was that “who had randomly received the correct shoes would have a lower injury rate than those who randomly received not-the-right shoes.” The full abstract can be read from Britsh Journal of Sports Medicine

Their results showed that each group received a rather high level of injuries and the ones who received the correct shoes didn’t do any better than the ones who got the wrong shoe for their foot type.

First off after looking over this study the same size is just way too small. Only 81 women were studied. No men where looked at and a study size of that amount is just too small.

Secondly, they only used Nike shoes - thus how do we know if the issue was not just Nike. I personally will get injured if I were Nike shoes to run in even when I select the right shoe for my foot type. No other shoe brands were studied thus further makes this research skewed.

Lastly, where is the control group? Were is the study of the 81 women who wore the “right” shoe for their foot. I’m willing to bet that they don’t have as many injuries. From personal experience as a coach and distance runner for over 18 years I have seen many runners with the wrong shoe have major injury problems and those with the right shoe never have an injury all season.

I think to be fair before we call off prescribing shoes based on foot type and running gate we should do a more accurate study with a more wide range of shoe brands and a much larger sample size. But I do agree there probably could be develop much better shoes and methods for detecting which type of shoe is right for you.