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Ways To Reduce The Risk of Typical Running Injuries

Summer typically brings runners out onto sidewalks and dedicated jogging paths in droves.  But if you plan on running outside, on a track, or on a treadmill at any time in the near future, there are certain steps you can take (pun slightly intended) to reduce the risk of an injury.  A report out of Australia featuring an interview with a Doctor of Physical Therapy offers tips on some of the ways to avoid common running-based injuries.

A great running shoe can go a long way toward reducing injuries.  Although the person interviewed for the report approaches the issue as a way to reduce blisters, good shoes can also help prevent minor or even serious ankle injuries.  New shoes should conform to the contours of your feet; they should be neither too big nor so tight that you feel pinched.  You might elect to visit a retailer dedicated exclusively to runners, as such a facility should be able to properly measure your foot and and fit you with the perfect shoe.  That way, the risk of your ankle bending or giving beneath you will be reduced.

The constant pounding of the pavement can leave some people susceptible to shin splints, especially if they’ve just started running.  This pain can be reduced by gradually stepping up your level of exercise rather than pushing yourself too far too soon.  You can also run on soft surfaces.  A track with just a little bit of give in it will be better on your bones than a concrete sidewalk.  When you do incur shin splints, be sure to rest the area so injuries aren’t exacerbated further.

Your Achilles tendons are also going to be severely stressed during a run.  What makes this type of injury so unfortunate is that the common wisdom that rest will win out doesn’t always apply.  Instead, there are certain exercises which can be conducted to both help prevent Achilles tendon problems and make sure they go away quickly.

Stretching properly will be your first line of defense.  The report offers up a calf raise as an example of an exercise that can help speed the process of healing the Achilles tendon.  While standing, push yourself up off the ground with the front section of your foot.  Keep whichever foot is affected by the injury on the ground and lift up the other foot. Bring it back down on the injured foot to increase tension.  Hold slightly and let go, then repeat multiple times.

For those that are new to running, preventing injuries of all sorts can be accomplished by getting the requisite amount of rest.  A day between runs is a great idea, as is upping the mileage very slightly and on a weekly rather than daily basis.


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