5 Important Tips for New and Returning Runners

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Running can be one of the simplest sports to start; all you need is a decent pair of shoes and a little self-motivation. If you’re completely new to the sport or have been on a break for a while it can take a huge  toll on your body. Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, has 5 crucial tips that can make the transition into running a lot easier than you think.

  1. Start slow– Starting a new workout plan can be exciting but it’s important to remember that your body needs time to adapt to the new changes it is about to experience. Don’t think that you have to run 7 days a week in order to get in shape faster. Starting off too hard can quickly lead to injuries.
  2. Run on soft surfaces– Running on softer surfaces like grass, sand, a padded track or even a treadmill will put less pressure on the foot and the rest of the body than running on hard pavement. Start with a softer surface and gradually work up to harder surfaces if you can.
  3. Wait for your muscle– It takes around 6 weeks for your body to begin to build muscle. Allow at least this much time before you really add on the mileage or else you’ll be on the road to injury before you know it.
  4. Run-walk method– Running can be difficult, don’t be afraid to walk a little if you’re feeling exhausted. Try having a set amount of time that you run and a set amount of time that you walk to recover. As you build your endurance, you can reduce the amount of recovery time you need to fit your fitness level.
  5. RECOVER– Planning your recovery days is just as important as exercise itself. Exercise causes micro tears in your muscles that need rest days to heal back stronger. Make sure you’re stretching out those muscles to keep your mobility, resting to regain your energy and let your muscles heal, and eating a 3-to-1 ratio of carbs to protein within an hour after you run for optimal recovery.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our mission is to inspire, educate and motivate clients. Our staff can help you with many physical ailments that might be impeding you from starting or continuing your exercise routine that is so vital to your health. To schedule a free consultation with one of our expert physical therapists call us at (714) 997-5518.

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town and Country Rd., Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

www.walkerpt.com

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Running Injuries

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Top 6 Running Injuries and How To Avoid Them

Walking, jogging and running are excellent activities to promote health and wellness. Are you an avid jogger or runner? If so, could the way you run be hurting you?

When you run, jog or walk, each step sends shock waves up to the feet, knees, hips, and lower back. Overuse injuries are common, especially with running. The good news is, we can help avoid overuse injuries. Some causes of running induced injuries include:image

  • Training errors
  • Improper running shoes
  • Poor weight-bearing or running dynamics

In an injury does occur, physical therapy can get you back on track (pun intended) in a short time. Here are SOME of the most common injuries that occur with running:

  1. Plantar Fascitis: Inflammation of fibrous connective tissue on the sole of the foot, leading to pain on the bottom of the heel.
  2. Achilles tendinitis: Heel pain, or pain in the Achilles, due to too much running or running uphill. This can lead to pain and tightness in the calf.
  3. Shin splints: Often a result of imbalance in the calf and shin muscles. Pain is along the front side of the lower leg (the shin).
  4. Stress fracture: Repeated pounding of the legs can lead to stress fractures, with local pain over the affected bone.
  5. Hamstring strain: Too much running can lead to a hamstring pull.
  6. Patello-femoral pain or “Runner’s knee”: Increase running distance too soon can lead to pain behind the patella, or kneecap.

If you have any of these injuries mentions above, there are tips and treatment that can help relieve pain and recover from the injury:

  • Rest, anti-inflammatory medication and icing the injured area.
  • Stretching muscles that are tight (i.e. – calf for Achilles tendinitis)
  • Strengthening exercises to restore muscle balance.
  • In some cases, taping works like a charm – talk to your therapist.
  • Orthotics may help alter the forces going into your joints. Talk to one of our therapists to see if this is best for you.
  • Remember, if it hurts, don’t do it. For example, if running hurts, try jogging. If jogging hurts, walk instead.

Are  your shoes to blame?

Before starting a running program, ask yourself:

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  • Are your shoes worn out?
  • Are they the right fit for your feet?
  • Do you have flat feet? Are you shoes stable enough?
  • If your feet are rigid, you need a pair with good cushioning.

All these questions need to be answered. To tell if a shoe can still be used, look at its sole. If it is worn out, its time for a new pair! If they twist too easily, it another sign they may be worn.

Runners are very susceptible to injuries, especially with changes in training, including speed, frequency, distance, and surface.Talk to a physical therapist at Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to evaluate your feet and minimize or treat injuries.

Your Feet Will Thank You

Most runners fail to take necessary steps to avoid injury. This is where we come in. After the initial initial evaluation, we teach you how to:

  • Get the right pair of shoes – we evaluate the muscles of your feet and guide you to the right shoes.
  • Stretch out properly – we evaluate your requirements and make sure you stretch out your muscles properly before exercise.
  • Strategically structure your running – we teach you the right warm up, stretch, and exercise sequence and coach you through  the process of building up your running time gradually. Remember, your running shoes will last about 500 miles before they need to be replaced.
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If you are a runner or just happen to walk regularly, you need to call us to evaluate your technique right away. As they say, prevention is better than the cure. Our highly experienced staff will design a plan to protect your joints and optimize your efforts. Call us today for an appointment. Your feet will thank you.

Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, Orange County, CA 92868

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