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Weeks without injury

Running does not hurt your body
The statement may seem hard, even cruel on those currently suffering from injury. It comes from the book “Chi Running” by Danny Dreyer. The implication that the injury is your own fault is not the message you want to here when you are injured. Yet if you can really believe this then just maybe you are on the road to an injury free running career.I have had more than my fair share of injuries. I was once told by a sports injury practitioner that it would only get worse with age. I believed him because I was brought up to believe everything a doctor told me. But my experience of the last two years has changed that belief.For this week and the next 2 weeks we will look at injuries. We will start with injury treatment and then look at injury avoidance and finally injury prevention.  I know that I’m repeating much of what I have written in the past but we do have a lot of new runners on the subscription list

Injury treatment

The classic prescription is R-I-C-E. Rest – Ice – Compression – Elevation.

Rest

Injuries need time to recover. Rest is the best advice. Stop running. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising. If you can cycle or swim without aggravating the injury then do it. Keep the heart working. A number of top athletes have found that alternative exercise is hugely beneficial whilst resting the strained muscles.

Ice

Yes it works. Some athletes even take an ice bath after each run. If you apply an ice pack over the injury every 4 hours it can really help recovery.

Compression

This really works for me. Wearing compression socks or tights, either when you run or during the recovery period after a run can really offset an injury. I find that it really helps when you are peaking your training intensity leading up to a marathon / half marathon.  Most good sports shops sell compression socks

Elevation

Can’t say that I’m really convinced on this one, but the theory is that you raise your injured leg to drain blood from the infected area.

Physiotherapy

Absolutely recommended but you need to find a good Physio. That is one that will not only treat the injury, but also treat the cause and recommend preventative measures. Often a strain in one leg is due to tightness in the other leg. A good Physio will latch on to this and try to ease tension in the none injured leg. Even better they will recommend ongoing exercises to remove the cause of the injury. The bottom line is that although physiotherapy can reduce the time for recovery, it will not prevent re-occurrence unless the cause is addressed.

Antibiotics

Yes they will reduce swelling and relieve pain. But they will not cure the problem and can make things worse by masking the pain. I rarely use antibiotics

Surgery

Yes there are conditions in life where surgery is necessary. However for a runner it is to be avoided at all costs. If you are only having surgery in order to prolong you running career then don’t. I have seen too many runners destroyed by surgery. There is always a better solution.

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