When you enjoy an active lifestyle it can sometimes feel like injuries are just another part of life. However, there are some running injuries that can require a bit more attention than a couple of days of rest. Soft tissue injuries, especially, can be the most detrimental to your long-term performance if they do not heal properly and completely.
We recommend that you seek professional medical attention for any moderate to severe running injuries in addition to following these suggested tips.
First things first: rest the affected area
When you are injured while running it is essential that you rest for the next 72-hour period before getting back out there. This practice also gives you sufficient time to fully assess the injury once any swelling has decreased. After three days you will know exactly what type of injury you are dealing with and its severity.
When appropriate, apply heat or ice and elevate the affected area. Many injuries also benefit from wearing a brace or bandage during the healing process. Your sports doctor can help you assess the injury and provide insight into the best course of treatment for your recovery.
Start back with non-impact exercise
Before you get back to running a significant amount, you will want to ease back into your exercise routine. We recommend core-strengthening exercises (more on those below) as a good way to get some exercise in even when you are taking it easy.
Restorative yoga and swimming are two effective exercise modalities that allow you to get moving again without putting yourself at risk of further injury. Don't try to rush back to your regular routine after a running injury! It is important to slowly build back up to your usual level of running in terms of both distance and intensity.
Seek further treatment for soft-tissue injuries
While a lot of sprains will heal with rest and common sense remedies, you may want to seek further attention for soft-tissue injuries. Our ankles are actually pretty fragile, and injuries to this part of the body can be difficult to completely overcome. If you have injured your ankle or knee when running, you will likely benefit from a soft-tissue massage or another similar therapy provided by a professional Portland sports medicine clinic, for example.
When your body has built up tension in the soft tissue, it can compensate for the irregularity by transferring weight to another area of the body. This will make the likelihood of injury greater and can also throw off your balance, which will have a negative impact on your overall performance. Regular sports massages and treatments to your soft-tissue areas can help your body maintain proper alignment and flexibility.
Strengthening exercises for your core
A strong core equals a strong body, and when you complete core strengthening exercises such as crunches and planks you can build-up your body's overall fitness level. These exercises are also a great way to start moving again following your 72 hours of rest.
Another great idea is the introduction of resistance bands to your regular exercise regimen. Once you have elevated the strength of your core, your body will be less likely to experience a serious injury when running.
Follow these helpful hints to minimize the long-term impact that a running injury has on your performance. We all know that there's nothing worse than rushing back to running following an injury, only to make the situation worse! Proper recovery from running injuries, no matter how large or small, can lessen your downtime overall. If you are careful and protect your body, you can enjoy injury-free running for many years to come!