Whether you’re new to running or it’s been a part of your life for years, you’re looking after your health through exercise — and that’s a great thing. To keep you on track, it’s important to take care of your body to avoid a sports injury.
To help, our team here at Genesis Regenerative Sports and Aesthetic Medicine pulled together five prevention tips that will go a long way toward helping you avoid a side-lining running injury.
1. Go slow
Whether you’re new to running or you’re an established runner who wants to increase your intensity levels, our first tip is important: Take it slow. Suddenly introducing your body to a new exercise or new challenges is a surefire way to catch it ill-prepared, which can quickly lead to injury.
Instead, proceed gradually, increasing your distance or endurance with each run. In this way, your body can adapt and strengthen as you go, allowing you to go the extra mile.
2. Footwear counts
When it comes to sports, there seems to be a shoe for every athletic endeavor, and for good reason. To provide your body the support it needs, be sure to outfit yourself with shoes that are made for the job.
Running shoes not only provide support, but ample cushioning so that your feet and ankles don’t fall victim to “pounding the pavement.”
3. Strengthen, and then strengthen some more
Running is a fantastic aerobic activity that efficiently burns calories, but you should also trade in your running shoes for gym shoes at least once or twice a week. Exercises that strengthen your legs are key and help enormously in avoiding injury.
Diving a little deeper, we recommend exercises that target your quads, calves, hamstrings, and every other muscle, small and large, that you engage while running. To get started, here are 6 exercises that the fine folks at Men’s Journal recommend.
4. Keep your head high
While running mainly involves your lower extremities, you should pay attention to other areas of your body, too. This includes practicing good posture when you run so you don’t tax your back, neck, and shoulders. So, keep your eyes up and avoid hunching over when you run.
5. Listen to your body and talk to us
While gritting your teeth and soldiering through pain may seem admirable, it’s a recipe for landing yourself on the couch, unable to move. If you feel any discomfort or pain while you’re running, do your future running self a favor and come in so that we can identify and remedy the problem before it turns into something more serious.
We have a wide range of treatments that can help heal your running injury more quickly, including:
- Ultrasound-guided tendon and joint injections
- TenJet® percutaneous tenotomy
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
- Bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) stem cell injections
- Lipogems® adipose/fat therapy
- Physical therapy
- Orthovisc® viscosupplementation injections
- Trigger point injections
The bottom line is that running is a great activity that improves your physical and mental health, and we want to ensure that you can go the distance. If you have any questions about avoiding running injuries, feel free to contact our office in Westfield, New Jersey.