The Most Common Cause Of Running Injuries Might Surprise You!

The Most Common Cause Of Running Injuries Might Surprise You!

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Change.

Change to your running technique, change to your mileage, change to your shoes, change to your route. These changes may seem innocent, but if executed incorrectly, they can lead to serious injury.

In most cases, your body can adapt to the change. However, if the load is too much (a mechanical change, like a rapid increase in mileage or changing your shoes) or if your body’s capacity has been compromised (smoking, poor diet, etc.), it can decrease your body’s ability to adapt to the change, which leads to injury.

Running Technique

Adapting an efficient running technique can be helpful in decreasing stress put onto your body. This would include minimizing the impact that the body takes with each step.

  1. Cadence

Cadence is your step rate per minute, measured in bpm (beats per minute), which is measured with a metronome (or a metronome app!). Researchers have found that the ideal cadence is about 170-190bpm, where each step is one beat on the metronome. This probably seems fast for most, but it changes where your feet land in relation to your body by landing closer to your center of gravity, it decreases the force absorbed by your hips, knees, and ankles, and allows better control of the legs.

As I mentioned above, adding any change into your running routine can increase the risk of injury, so make sure to implement the change very slowly. Also, make sure to see a health provider if you are worried about the risk of injury or have had previous injuries and are looking to change your cadence.

2. Shoe type

The type of shoe that you wear can influence your running patterns. Shoes can be ranked on a minimalist index, where minimalist shoes are those with less padding and support and maximalist shoes on the end of the scale are thicker and have more cushioning.

In general, research has found that the more minimalist the shoe is, the less stress is placed on the skeleton from the ankle upwards. This is because with less padding, there is more foot sensation. This encourages a smaller striking distance for the leading foot, reducing the load on the body and encouraging better control of the legs.

The thicker the shoe, the more mechanical stress on the rest of the skeleton; however, there is less pressure on the foot. This means that for people with a foot injury, a more cushioned shoe would probably be beneficial, but for injuries higher up in the body (ankle, knee, hip, back, etc.), you may be better off in a more minimalist shoe. The best way to know if you’d benefit from a change in the shoe is to talk with a specialist. If you do decide to change shoes, it is very important to gradually wean into them to minimize the risk of injury.

3. Cross training

Cross-training is the addition of other exercises, like weightlifting, yoga, swimming, etc. to your running routine. It can build strength, power, and help develop control of your muscles, especially to those not utilized with running. You can also design your workout routine to include activity that will enhance your performance and running economy (how your body uses oxygen while running). Cross-training is especially important if you have a history of injury or know any weak points in your body that may need more training than running to stay at optimal capacity. For example, someone with low back pain may want to perform weight training like squats and deadlifts to strengthen their core and hip musculature to support their low back.

Key Points:
  • Keep your mind and body healthy  eating well, sleeping well, and taking care of your mental health are important in injury prevention.
  • If you are interested in implementing any change in training, make sure to introduce it very slowly so your body can adapt to the change. Any change that is too quick or sudden can increase your risk of injury.
  • If you are worried about implementing any change yourself, have your gait analyzed by a professional and advice on how to gradually add the change in.

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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”default”][vc_column_text]References:

  1. A consensus definition and rating scale for minimalist shoes. Esculier J.F., Dubois, B., Dionne, C.E., Leblond, J., and Roy, J.S. (2015). Journal of Foot and Ankle Research. 8:42
  2. Barefoot and Shod Running: Their Effects on Foot Muscle Kinetics. Sinclair, J.K. (2015). Foot and Ankle Online Journal 8:2
  3. Habitual Minimalist Shod Running Biomechanics and the Acute Response to Running Barefoot. Tam, N., Darragh, I.A.J., Nikhil, V.D., Lamberts, R.P. (2016) Int J Sports Med. 38(10):770-775
  4. Effects of Training in Minimalist Shoes on the Intrinsic and Extrinsic Foot Muscle Volume. (2016). Chen, T.L Louis, K.Y., Szeblrene S.D., Cheunga, R.T.H. Clinical Biomechanics. 36:8-13
  5. Influence of Stride Frequency and Length on Running Mechanics: A Systematic Review. (2014). Schubert, A.G., Kempf, J., Heiderscheit, B.C. Sports Health 6(3): 210-217
  6. Strength Training in Female Distance Runners Impact on Running Economy. (1997). Johnston, R.E., Quinn, T.J., Kertzer, R., Vroman, N.B. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 11(4), 224-229
  7. Maximal Strength Training Improves Running Economy in Distance Runners. (2008). Stkren K., Helgrund, J.M Stka E. M., Hof, J. Journal of American College of Sports Medicine.

[/vc_column_text][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”default”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”9673″ alignment=”center” animation=”None” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”2/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]Written By: Dr. Chantal Ali[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]