Running is a great way to stay active at any age. It’s easy to do, requires minimal equipment (just a pair of running shoes), and is a healthy form of exercise. In a recent research study, they compared non-runners, recreational runners, and elite runners’ joint health. Recreational runners had the lowest incidence of hip and knee arthritis. The elite running group followed them with non-runners having the most risk for developing hip and knee arthritis. This means that running is really good for our joints!
Even though running is really good for our bodies, that doesn’t mean that injuries, aches, or pains don’t creep up from time to time. Many runners also tend to experience recurring injuries that come and go throughout their running lifetime. And now that more and more people are turning to running for exercise during this crazy time, you might be experiencing some new or recurring aches and pains as well.
Sometimes it’s the same injury and pain coming back again and again. Sometimes its different pain or injuries, but always on the same side of the body.
Why does this happen?
These types of aches, pains, and injuries are almost always traced back to a biomechanical problem with running. This means that there is some sort of dysfunctional movement happening that leads to repetitive stress on a particular area. When you stop running and give it rest, the pain lessens but is soon to return when you get back into running again because the original problem was not fixed.
When we know it’s a biomechanical issue that is causing your particular ache or pain, the next step is to detect what specific biomechanical issue it is. You may have foot pain or hip pain, but that doesn’t always mean the biomechanical problem is at the foot or hip that is hurting. Because everything in our body is connected, your foot pain may be coming from a dysfunctional movement at the hip, or vice versa. Or ankle stiffness could be causing back pain. There are endless combinations of painful areas and associated dysfunctions and your physical therapist is there to be the detective in finding out the problem that is specific to you.
Once we know the problem, then we know how to fix it! And that’s where the magic happens to get rid of the ache and pain for good. Fixing biomechanical problems isn’t an easy thing to change overnight, but with exercises, stretches, and strategies in place that are specific for you, you will be on the right track back to recovery.
If you are having problems with your running and need an expert guiding you on the path to recovery and full resolution, schedule an appointment today.