You love running. Being outdoors, the wind in your face, pushing your body to exhaustion, and feeling the strength building and enjoying the physical fitness results of a good run. You can't imagine ever not running, but an injury could force you to stop this activity you so enjoy. Benjamin Franklin once stated, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." So, let's look at ways to prevent running injuries and continue running as long as you desire.
Tips from a Top Hip Replacement Doctor: Injury Prevention
Warming Up Is Your #1 Priority
You may have plenty of energy and are ready to head out on that run, but it's still important to warm up first. It would be best to stretch all the muscles you'll use during your run. Then, when you run, do similar movements, such as stretching your hips, legs, thighs, and knees. Consult with a fitness trainer or physical therapist for the warm-up exercises and the sequence to do them before each run.
Consider the surface where you are running. Are you running on concrete? Grass? A track? A treadmill? Hard surfaces force your body (and especially your joints) to absorb all the impact of your weight hitting the ground as you run. This jarring impact, when done repeatedly, is wearing on the joints. Running on softer surfaces allows some of the force to be absorbed by the surface and often eases joint pain. However, although sand is very soft and absorbs a lot of the force, it is unstable and may increase injuries in the soft tissues and the Achilles tendon.
Stop If There Is Pain
Pain isn't meant to be an annoyance. It is your body's way of telling you that something is wrong. If you experience pain in your hips, back, or knees while you are on your run, you need to stop. If the pain subsides, continue with a slow walk until you're assured that you haven't caused any injury. If you still feel a sharp pain and have difficulties with movement, see a medical professional.
Try Other Forms of Exercise
Stretching is great for a pre-workout, but there are other forms of exercise you can try if you feel that running is becoming a challenge as you enter your senior years. You can try low-impact exercises at a gym. There are rowing machines, bikes, and elliptical machines that are fun and provide the movement your muscles need to stay flexible and pain-free.
Consider Physical Therapy
If you're experiencing challenges in running or even walking across the room, you may benefit from going to a physiotherapist. They are knowledgeable in various treatments to help you feel well again.
If You Already Have Joint Pain
Have a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon. Did you know that they won't immediately suggest surgery? Instead, most will assist you with various non-surgical treatments. Surgery is only considered when hips or knees fail to recover or if too much damage has been done. Start slowly with your new exercise routine, and soon you'll be experiencing the benefits of better movement and comfort.
Are you a runner? Are you experiencing joint pain? Consult with the top hip replacement doctor in the Raleigh area, Dr. Dan Albright. After a thorough examination, Dr. Albright will work with you on a treatment plan to keep you running pain-free. Call 919-863-6808 and make an appointment today.