Running injuries and remedies
Runner’s knee – patellofemoral pain syndrome
Runner’s knee is a widespread complaint amongst athletes, and those who engage in activities demanding a lot of bending, walking, cycling, as well as jumping. It is due to overstretched tendons and irritation of the nerves of the kneecap, which culminates in a painful sensation. A fall or blow with an impact on the knee equally causes the runner’s knee. Other contributors are bone misalignment, flat arches, and overpronation, which results in stretching of the lip muscles. Concurrently, weak thigh muscles may fail to withstand the weight and impacts relayed by the running activities; this eventually leads to runners’ knee. Wearing incorrect or worn-out shoes may elicit the trauma. Some cases are products of overtraining.
Alleviation of pain and indications incorporate giving the knee enough rest, icing the knee to combat ache and distension, compressing the knee by using elastic bandages for support. Elevating the knee on a raised object, evasion of lifting heavy weights, and a stretch twice or thrice in a day are no exception. Self-rubbing with “arnica” ointments or anti-seditious gel can significantly alleviate the injury.
Iliotibial band syndrome
This is a common knee injury derived from the inflammation and exasperation of the distal fraction of the iliotibial tendon as it strokes against the knee’s tangential femoral condyle. This injury transpires with recurring flexion and stretching of the knee. Inadequate flexibility of the TB also grants the undesirable inflammation, which terminates to an augmented tension on the ITB during the flight (Higgins, Brukner & English 56).
To curb the pain experienced, it is prudent to discontinue running for a while with some patience. Limited running, cycling, or undertaking squatting aerobics for near a month is helpful (Higgins, Brukner & English 56). This is appropriate since a continuous bending of the lap at 45o or more ends to a severe rubbing of ITB and knee bones, which causes inflammation and pain. One should fully embrace “RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation).” Frequent icing of the area of pain grants relief and settles the inflammation. Elevation of the limbs at some given height lessens pain as it barricades the blood gush to the knees. Stretching properly and the use of suitable footwear are equally appropriate.
Shin splints are products of tendon and tissue damage in the frontage component of the external parts of the leg. This condition is very common with beginners in the running arena. The ailment can be either anterior or posterior. The former reduces pain sensation in the outside of the lower leg along the shin while the latter elicits pain in the soft tissue behind the bone. This is due to the injury caused to the muscles on the internal component of the downer parts of the leg. Running on rigid grounds strains the frontage muscles of the leg becoming a significant precursor to the problem. Running habits, which dictate the foreleg muscles to strain in maintaining the feet stabilization is disastrous in this parameter. Training or performing with shoes having poor support as well as overtraining, significantly induce the occurrence of this very condition. This leads to a prolonged straining of muscles, which subsequently pilots to the aching of the shin region.
Remedies include icing the lower leg and keeping the ice in position for a while after every 5 hours. Frequent elevation of the foot, taking a few days off running, and avoiding overstretching is vital to ease the throbbing ache.
Cross-Training Workout for Running Performance
Cross-training, similarly referred to as conditioning, engage training in different fields to advance the overall running routine. It takes advantage of the fastidious efficacy of each training technique. It provides an immense approach to condition different muscle forms, creates a new set of skills, and diminishes monotony, which slithers in after a longer duration of similar exercise habits. The following work out can radically complement the running schedules.
Since muscle utilizes oxygen, the amplification of the muscle quantity augments the body’s potential to utilize extra calories. The body normally consumes approximately 4.5-7 “calories for every pound of muscle daily”. Runners having more body fat can involve themselves in strength training to burn the fats as well as develop their muscle mass to enhance extra calories utilization. This kind of cross-training also assists in the toning of the body muscles and further improvement of self-fitness. Runners who involve themselves in additional resistance training boost their limb strength, stamina, and recovery. Concurrently, there is a reduction in the vulnerability to injuries due to the enhancement of joint stability.
It is a tremendous approach of cross-training for runners since it involves minimal heaviness. It offers the body muscles a rest whereas soothing them to the fullest. It facilitates flexibility and promotes muscle might. Concomitantly, it improves the constancy and vitality of the higher fraction of the body. Its recommendation encompasses those runners who are recovering from injuries and are not able to involve themselves in any other training, which may enhance the injury. Those individuals who are prone to racing injuries take swimming as an alternative.
Cycling and whirling tricks offer a splendid manner of cross-training. It is important in boosting cardiovascular proficiency and stability. The nature of this cardiovascular as a workout improves running abilities. The thrust/haul/bend accomplishments achieve an amazing work of harmonizing the runner’s specific muscle in the higher body regions. It tones the limb muscles besides shortening the monotony drawn from frequent running activities.
This is a cardiovascular workout achieved by operating an elliptical device. The oval-like movement grants the runner wider forms of exercise including those achievable when one climbs stairs, skiing, jogging, and even walking. Adjustment of movements happens in all directions to offer the desired budge. Onward or rearward motions can work all the chief muscles in the legs. The machine is also good for the wounded athletes who still feel the urge of training since the muscles mostly used during running activities are equally the same ones utilized during the elliptical exercise. Although elliptical training offers the same cardiovascular benefits as running, they possess inferior upshot on the joints hence require no exclusive employment.
Walking is a good activity as a substitute for intense bustles full of running. It is helpful especially when one is recovering from a sprinting activity or marathon. The speed of walking is adjustable to advance cardiovascular competence and robustness. The athletes who are nurturing injuries can resort to walking to maintain their body fitness. It improves the rate at which one loses bodyweight and toning of the muscles. Walking also establishes the endurance of the muscles for extra running miles.
It is recognized that different athletes and experts approach running as a sports activity from different perspectives. This is evident in the footwear arena where some people propose the use of designated sports footwear while some advocates for the barefoot approach. Critical scrutiny refutes Christopher McDougall’s support of barefoot running in his book “Bone to Run”. Whichever vector an individual has taken; both approaches pose some distinct merits as well as demerits elevating greater criticism or support. In this context, it is imperative to support that running footwear has helped a great deal in the running industry.
The claim that running shoes have done less in terms of injury deterrence is misplaced. Notably, athletes demand some precautions and safety measures to enhance their careers. The use of correct footwear for the feet protection demands attention. It prevents injuries as well as invigorates the stability, and confidence of the athlete (Puleo & Milroy 166). The impact of footwear is evident in the prevention of wounding, pricks, infections, and even scratch of critical structures at the foot underneath. Barefoot running requires grassy grounds for comfort as well as safety assurance. This is irrational since athletes not only require grassy grounds to train or perform but also the ability to perform in all available conditions. The extreme cases of icons like Abebe Bikila, an Ethiopian, are not evident enough to declare barefoot running a notable virtue. Maybe they were not used to shoes or the use of footwear during sports were never in their culture.
The argument that barefoot running is vital since it employs forefoot running hence one is less prone to injury is less palpable since tendon injuries are encountered with rearfoot runners who forced themselves to possess forefoot characteristics. Cases of injuries like blistering associated with footwear are less illustrated. Such injuries are simply due to the incorrect selection of footwear. Concurrently, good footwear rarely causes injuries but protects even more. The fact that without footwear, one is light enough and can run faster than those in shoes elucidates less sense. Most running footwear, made by experts, considers all the possible factors concerning running as a game (Hawley 29). It is not economical to run barefoot as illustrated since the injury that can result from the barefoot running game can be more costly than the price of buying one light, and appropriate footwear.
It is absurd to allege that running shoes are the reason for harms in running. Critically, it is the mode of running that facilitates injuries. The state of the surface one is running on and the weight of the involved party is the main contributor to injuries. These factors contribute to the basis of injuries whether the footwear is implicated or not (Burfoot). On personal grounds, the fame currently enjoyed by the barefoot running phenomenon is media stage-managed as the matter in itself is unique and poses attraction to many. Comprehendingly, there is no special thing in those who have decided to go the barefoot direction except the ignorance and failure to adapt to the footwear use. They just want to be different from the rest and attract public attention, which they could have not achieved if they were to go the normal way.
The affirmation that barefoot running grants inspiration and excitement of the body is refutable. The result is an intense sensation that one might get hurt hence a momentous decline of confidence. A vital discovery relies on the shock absorption by the feet during running. This is remarkable with barefoot runners compared to shoe wearers. Following all these, it is paramount to consider the use of footwear during running for one’s safety and exclusive performance.
Burfoot, Amby. Barefoot Running: Two sides of a very hot topic. 2010. Web.
Hawley, John. Running. Massachusetts, MA. Wiley-Blackwell, 2000. Print.
Higgins, Richard. Brukner, Peter. English, Bryan. Essential sports medicine. Massachusetts, MA. Wiley-Blackwell, 2006. Print.
Puleo, Joseph & Milroy, Patrick. Running Anatomy. Illinois, IL: Human Kinetics, 2009. Print.