Running Out of Injury

By: Michelle Gilpin, DPT

In last month’s blog post, we talked about the epidemic of running injuries. Running injuries occur in the majority of runners. Why? First of all, the number one predictor of injury is a history of injury. Often it is because the cause of the injury was never treated.

Let’s explore:

We find a weak core and hips in almost every runner we evaluate. Your legs will carry you pretty far, but if you don’t have a strong core and hips serving as a foundation, eventually those legs are going to wear out. Your first sign will be an ache in the knee, hip, and sometimes even in the back. Often, this is when people grab the Rock Tape, knee brace, or buy a new pair of shoes. This might give you some temporary relief, but it doesn’t really fix the problem. One of two things are going to happen, your pain is going to come back – with a vengeance- or you’re going to get pain somewhere else, because now you’re compensating for that pain and weakness. There’s a saying in physical therapy that applies well to runners, “where you think it is, it isn’t.” Treating the symptoms often does nothing for treating the problem.

The solution? Fix the problem of course! If you’ve worn out a tire because the alignment is bad in your car, does it make sense to just change the tire without fixing the alignment? No! You’re going to end up right back where you are. Same goes for your body.

Below are links to several exercises that every runner should be doing to gain and maintain core and hip strength. If you’re strengthening your core and hips, not only will you be helping prevent injuries down the road, but as you get stronger, you’ll be running farther, longer and easier!

These exercises are just a sampler of what is available. The best way for you to figure out where your weaknesses and malalignments lie is to get a running assessment done by a physical therapist. Find one who looks at your strength, balance and running gait – like us! Getting an assessment can help determine weaknesses, predict injuries and improve your form. So, get on it. Prevent those injuries before they happen and show the world what you’re capable of!

See you soon!



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