Don’t Forget Your Feet

When it comes to injury prevention runners spend most of their time stretching and strengthening their legs and upper body. What about your feet? Why do we neglect our foundation so badly?

The feet represent the foundation of the human body, a foundation made up of many crucial components; the foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. In fact, one quarter of all bones in the human body are in the feet.

The foot is the first point of contact and the arch of the foot is the body’s shock absorber; it acts as a spring. When this shock absorber or spring has fallen, the entire kinetic chain is disturbed. The force of the impact must be absorbed by other parts of the body, such as the hips, knees, and back.

Injury prevention should start with your feet and it takes more than finding the right shoes. Follow these simple exercises at home, especially if you wear minimalist running shoes, and you’ll see a huge difference in your stride and ability to stay consistent in your training.

How To Avoid An Achilles Tendon Injury

Another must read article in our Injury/Prevention Education Series from Dr. Marc Bochner, including: why the Achilles tendon is one of the most commonly injured tendons, how to recognize early signs of injury and treat properly.

Injury to the Achilles tendon can either happen suddenly, as in a rupture,or can occur gradually, as with tendinosis, which is the usual case in running. In the sudden injury scenario, recreational athletes often injure an already tightened or weakened calf when it is suddenly stretched or contracted past its normal limits, causing the tear. Although tears can occur in endurance athletes, the common scenario for a tear is a middle-aged person who has gradually lost flexibility and developed adhesions in the calf muscles and around the tendon, probably from years of sitting without regular stretching, and who goes out and plays tennis or softball for the first time in months or years. He or she then stresses muscles and tendons past their current limits, and a tear occurs. So even though the injury may seem sudden, the predisposing factor of decreased calf flexibility was probably present for some time. Likewise, in running and other endurance sports, a loss of calf flexibility and calf muscle/tendon adhesions are also to blame for cases of tendinosis.

Can’t Shake That Hamstring Injury?

Once again we turn to our partner on injury prevention and treatment, Dr. Marc Bochner, for a comprehensive explanation on the different types of hamstring injuries and how to diagnose, treat and prevent in the first place. Hamstring injuries in runners are typically very stubborn and difficult to treat so we highly recommend reading this article.

Here he covers the common causes:

It’s Time For An Inspection

Last week we posted a great video about active isolated stretching which helps prevent injuries and promotes faster recovery. But injury prevention is more than just stretching, it should also include proper rest week to week, a supplemental strength routine and running workouts that are personalized towards your goals and based on your running history and current fitness.

Beyond the tools available that we usually cover to help prevent injuries, every runner should also do a little self-inspection from time to time to gauge how their body is holding up. The key is to catch an imbalance or area of weakness in advance before it becomes a full blown injury. Running Times featured a great article titled, “How’s Your Running Body” by Phil Wharton that shows how you can quickly test the structural integrity of your running form. Below are the key elements of your running form the tests will measure.

Transform Your Running With Active Isolated Stretching

At Run SMART it’s no secret we’re huge proponents of active isolated stretching and its ability to help prevent injuries and promote faster recovery. Every client receives an active stretching routine and are encouraged to incorporate it into their running routine as much as possible. Below is a great introductory video on the principles of active stretching versus static from the man who introduced the method to us, Phil Wharton of Wharton Performance.

We strongly recommend getting a rope and the book or DVD to help guide you through all the stretches. It will change your running dramatically over time.

Prepare To Compete – Injury Prevention Clinic

We highly recommend checking out Dr. Marc Bochner’s injury prevention clinic next week to runners of all levels in the New York City (NYC) area. Last year we partnered with Dr. Bochner to develop a core strength/stability routine specifically designed for our clients and it has done wonders to keep our athletes healthy.

For more information see below or visit PrepareToCompete.com.

When: Thursday, January 26th

Time: 7-9pm

Place: Bochner Chiropractic & Sports Injury Care, 681 Lexington Ave., 5th Floor (between 56th/57th)

Cost: This is a FREE clinic! Limited to 10 participants. Bring running clothes for both indoor and outdoor exercise.

Can’t Shake That Plantar Fasciitis Injury?

Plantar Fasciitis, a runner’s nightmare, can ruin your training for a long time if not diagnosed properly and treated quickly. This article from Dr. Marc Bochner, our partner on strength and injury prevention, provides great insight as to why runners develop this injury, how to prevent, diagnose and treat it effectively.

For acute pain, treatment should start with ice massage, which can help decrease any inflammation or swelling, and heel cushions, which can reduce contact pain when walking (put in both shoes to keep equal leg-lengths). Self-massage of the tight fascia, and arch or calf muscles can help. The arch can be done by rolling the foot on a golf ball for 20-60 seconds, especially first thing in the morning before getting out of bed, as the fascia usually shortens overnight. Stretching of the achilles and calf can be performed seated on the floor by using a towel to gently pull your foot towards you. Keeping your foot turned in slightly (supination) will reduce tension on the plantar fascia.

Beware NSAIDS When Treating Overuse Injuries

Dr. Marc Bochner of Bochner Chiropractor and Sports Injury Care in New York has written many smart articles on injury prevention/treatment so we’re going to share some of our favorites over the next few months. He helped us put together a very effective and appropriate strength and stability routine for runners that goes out to all of our private clients so we have a lot of trust in him on these issues.

First up, Beware The Hazards Of NSAIDS.

Pain should be considered a warning sign, whose cause is to be investigated. Covering up your symptom of pain with medication can lead to more serious injury. New research has revealed that many overuse injuries aren’t even inflammatory in nature! Many tendon injuries have been found to involve degeneration of the collagen material making up the tendon, with no inflammatory cells present on biopsy. This is called tendinosis, not tendinitis, and will not be helped by trying to limit inflammation. In fact, Advil and the rest of the over-the-counter drugs may even delay healing of connective tissue and muscle, even though you may feel less pain.

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