If you’re a dedicated runner, chances are good that you’ve struggled with a running injury. According to recent studies, 80% of all runners do get injured at some point. As a runner myself, I know it’s a frustrating process.
Don’t Ignore Signals of a Running Injury
We runners are great at minimizing what I call “niggles” – those twinges of pain we tend to associate with training. However, as we all too often discover, that niggle was a yellow light we just blew past, and suddenly our bodies hit the injury red light, which brings running to a screeching halt.
The adage of “listen to your body” is so true, especially for us
older seasoned runners. When you ignore the signals, that extra two miles may result in 2-3 weeks off. Is it really worth it?
Before niggles become outright, serious running injuries, consider your self-treatment options.
Running Injury Treatment Beyond RICE
There are many things you can try on your own at home. The traditional, tried-and-true RICE method involves rest, ice, compression and elevation.
Of course, we busy runners are always looking for something more active than icing a sore Achilles tendon. So, here are three additional, do-it-yourself running injury treatments I encourage you to try regularly:
- Stretch after every run. That’s when muscles are warm, more pliable and receptive to stretching.
- Get a periodic massage or self-massage with a foam roller. I have found the foam roller to be a wonderful tool. Yes, it initially causes some pain, but it keeps you on the road!
- Cross-train. Yes, I said it. Ride a bike, use an elliptical machine or do a pool workout. This is not an admission of defeat. Instead, embrace it as a strategy that can keep you running.
If those simple fixes don’t work, seek professional help. Talk with your primary care physician or with a physical therapist or athletic trainer who has experience treating runners. Don’t wait! They can offer some wonderful techniques to expedite your healing process, fix your issues and get you back to running as soon as possible.
You can access physical therapy and athletic training for runners (and virtually every other sport) through Mercy Sports Medicine and Mercy Health & Fitness. Both programs offer more than the traditional gym or health club, serving athletes and non-traditional exercisers alike who live in Canton, Massillon, Stark County and beyond.