Today, Saturday, January 19, 2019

Best Methods For Returning From a Running Injury

Best Methods for Returning From a Running Injury

The frustration of returning from a running injury is something that many runners deal with sooner or later. Staying inactive for too long can cause you to lose skill. But returning too soon will put you in a high risk category for a re-injury. So how do you get back to the track as fast as possible? The answer is by following certain steps to ensure an effective recovery.

Don’t rush it

A desire to return quickly is understandable. The problem is that by rushing the recovery process, you do more harm than good. Returning before you are completely ready means risking further damage that will take longer to heal. Any injury should be taken seriously and given the proper time to fully recover.

Some injuries take longer than others for a bounce back. Patience is needed to get through them and it will take a lot less time if you focus. Resist the temptation to spend hours thinking about when you will run again. This puts pressure on yourself and makes it harder for your body to recuperate.

The most common running injuries are shin splints, pulled hamstring, dislocated kneecap, iliotibial band syndrome, sprained ankle, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis. Each affect different areas, but they all have one thing in common: keeping you off your feet. It is imperative to remain optimistic. The sooner you start the healing process, the sooner it will be over. It might help to know that you can go without running for a week without losing hardly any ground.

Learn from the injury

Every injury is a chance to learn more and prevent one in the future. Find out exactly what caused you to be hurt. If you aren’t sure, consult with a doctor to figure it out. The biggest factor in running injuries is overuse. Taking on too much is like playing with fire. Build your fitness levels up naturally and increase mileage as you can handle it. Use maximum intensity in your workouts without sacrificing form or technique. Never be reckless and lose control of your strides.

A lack of stretching is another reason runners get injured. Warming up is essential in avoiding muscle tears and pulls. Exercises should be done before and after runs. Also, your feet need to be fully supported at all times. Monitor your shoes and replace them before the cushion wears out. Unlike concrete, grass and dirt roads provide excellent shock absorption. Plan your running route ahead of time.

As you can see, the majority of injuries are preventable. Injuries however can contribute to experience and growth as a runner. Rehabilitation can make you stronger and smarter. So learn from the offending situation as you are returning from running injury.

Stay active

Although you have to stop running when you are injured, it still helps to exercise in other ways. One of the toughest things for a runner to deal with is the lack of physical activity. Fortunately, there are several options to keep your body in motion during the recovery stage. Cross-training is highly advised because it keeps the muscles loose and stops apathy. Try to perform exercises that do not involve the injured area or pressure on your feet, such as cycling and swimming. Water running is exceptionally good for runners to build their strength back.

Check with a physician for more ideas about which activities you should do in your particular circumstance. They will help, but remember that they will not automatically bring you back to the same level before the injury. The rule is to do an average of two weeks of training to compensate for every week of inactivity.

Medical/Physical therapy

Depending on the injury, your doctor may prescribe any number of anti-inflammatory medications. This usually happens during the first week. Follow the schedule exactly to get the full benefits of the drugs. There are also things that you can do on your own to assist the recovery. Apply an ice-pack to the affected area and keep your leg elevated as much as possible. Massaging the injured area gently improves the blood flow and makes the healing easier. Abstain from any heavy lifting or strenuous activity and get plenty of rest.

Emotional therapy

Psychologically, it can be difficult for a runner to cope with the mental side effects an injury delivers. Sometimes, it is even harder than dealing with the physical part of returning from running injury. Think of it as an opportunity, not a setback. It is your chance to zero in on any weaknesses and correct them. Be optimistic and engage in other things. Running is most likely a stress reliever for you as it burns a lot of calories. Now that you are off your feet, look for other ways to work through stress; books, magazines, puzzles, and music keep your mind busy.

Return slowly

The eagerness to return causes runners to jump back into their previous routine immediately. This is a huge mistake because you are overestimating your body’s fitness level. It is impossible to come back at full capacity and you need to understand the time involved to ease back into things. That doesn’t mean you can’t run as fast, but you should be running less.

Walking is extremely helpful at this point. Take walking breaks whenever you feel it is necessary and listen to your body. At the first sign of pain or discomfort, stop and examine it. The very beginning of the return is the most ideal time for a re-injury. Start off by running half of the distance you were used to and incrementally add mileage as your endurance improves. Reduce the impact on your feet by not running as hard. A steady approach is the best way to reach the goals you once achieved. Be realistic and plan on taking the day off after your running day.

No matter what, never try to make up for lost time. Be cautious and increase mileage or intensity by 10 percent or less, and only raise each of these one at a time. On the bright side, your body will adapt to the pace and become stronger. Use the knowledge you accumulated during recovery to boost your performance. At the end of the day, if you follow this advice, you will be better than ever when returning from a running injury.

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