How to Decrease the Likelihood of a Running Injury

Most running injuries are caused by overuse, overtraining, wearing the wrong shoes, and overcompensating for a muscle imbalance or biomechanical problem. Here are some ways you can prevent the likelihood of a running injury.

1. Gradually increase your mileage. Increasing your weekly mileage by no more than 10% will help prevent injury.
2. Wear supportive shoes that are not worn out. It is suggested you replace your running shoes every 300-500 miles or every 6 months. Also, make sure your shoes address any biomechanical issues you may have with your feet and arches. Most running stores provide an analysis of your feet.
3. The best surfaces to run on that provide the least amount of impact is grass and woodland trails. Avoid running on concrete which is the hardest surface you could run on. Asphalt is a little better than concrete. If you run on grass, look for a flat area of grass. While running on a trail, watch out for slippery, muddy areas.
4. Stretch after you run to prevent your muscles from being too tight.
5. Cross train instead of just running. This way you will be strengthening various muscle groups and one particular muscle group will be less likely to be strained.

If you are unsure how to progress running safely to meet your goals, need help creating a stretching program, and or cross training programming, contact Harbor Physical Therapy for an appointment. We also offering running assessments to uncover your specific running stride and provide you specific tailored exercises to help diminish any muscle imbalances.

Do you suffer from morning heel pain?

The most common cause of morning heel pain is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a long ligament in the bottom of your foot. It can become inflamed causing pain on the bottom of your foot and heel.

Symptoms include pain on the bottom of the foot either after not weight-bearing through the foot for a long period of time or after a lot of weight-bearing activity.

Treatment includes:
1. Replace worn out shoes. Make sure you have a pair of good supportive tennis shoes for when you are
on your feet a lot.
2. Stop any excessive exercising or jogging until symptoms subside. If you have recently started a new
exercise program or changed jobs where you are doing a lot of standing or walking, see what you
can do to limit being on your feet a lot.
3. Use heat on the bottom of your foot followed by rolling a tennis ball underneath your foot for a few
minutes for a self massage to the plantar fascia area.
4. Perform calf stretches. Stand on the bottom of a step and drop one heel down until you feel a stretch
in your calf. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat a couple times on each foot.
5. End with some ice on the bottom of your foot. Wrap a bag of frozen peas or corn in a towel and put it
under your foot for about 10 minutes.