How’s your training going? If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts you’ll know that increasing your running mileage brings about the added risk of injury. As a reminder, the key point from our previous blog in terms of injury prevention was to not increase your mileage too much too soon. We need to slowly build up our mileage to allow our slower adapting muscular system to catch up with our cardiovascular system.
Doing too much too soon is a recipe for disaster for picking up injuries, which are all too common in runners! But, they can be avoided by increasing your weekly mileage by a maximum of 10% each week. Doing this is a good benchmark to base the increase of your gradual, progressive mileage.
What are Shin Splints?
A very common running injury which I’m sure many of you have suffered from is shin splints. Like most running injuries, shin splints are generally brought on by increasing mileage too much too soon and they can be an absolute nuisance when training for an event. But, what can be done if you’re suffering from shin splints and are anxious about not being able to complete a race such as the Sheffield Half Marathon?
Is Your Pain Caused by Shin Splints?
Firstly, you’ll want to make sure that your shin pain is from shin splints, as it may be caused by something else. Generally, shin splints occur in both legs and the shin pain increases with each step and does not get better with further running. However, tightness in the muscles which run down the front of the leg can also cause pain around the shin during running. Fortunately, this shin pain generally gets better after you’ve run for several miles as the muscle becomes warmer & more supple.
If your shin pain does not improve with running, but instead gets more painful with each step I would recommend booking in to see one of our Physiotherapists for specialist assessment.
If your shin pain does improve with running after the muscles warm up I would recommend completing a good dynamic warm up beforehand, and post run self-management such as foam rolling and hot water bottles, followed by stretching exercises for the muscles around the lower leg. If you are in any doubt it’s better to be safe than sorry – book in to see one of our Physiotherapists.
For some more information around shin splints please read this blog we produced outlining all the key points regarding shin splints.
Sports Massage & Physio for Running Injuries
Whether you’re relatively injury free or riddled with recurrent injuries, sports massage & physio could be the answer you’ve been waiting for. We see a huge number of runners here at the clinic with problems ranging from post run muscle soreness, muscle tightness, muscle strains, ligament sprains, hip pain, knee pain, tendinopathy & plantar fasciitis. Whatever you’ve got, we’ve seen it and we are here to help you cross the finish line!
Personally, I am getting a x1 weekly 1 hour sports massage to keep my muscles in tip top shape to help stave off any potential injuries from increased muscle soreness & tightness now the mileage is ever increasing… I would highly recommend you do the same. It would be so disappointing to miss race day due to injury when it could have been so easily avoided!
Also, did you know that sports massage also accommodates for pre & post event massage? The injury free runners dream! I’ll be coming in for my pre & post event sports massage to kickstart my muscles avoiding any devastating race stopping injuries on the day.
A previous blog we posted gave a great insight into the workings of pre & post event sports massage. But look no further, it’s right here!
“Sports massage is hugely valued for pre-event preparation, as it prepares muscles for exercise, stimulates circulation, increasing oxygen and nutrient supply to the area, reduces muscle tension and enhances a state of focus and concentration. This type of sports massage focuses on circulation enhancement by utilising light fast techniques, with emphasis placed on the muscle groups that are going to be used in the event. If you’ve got an event such as a 10K, half marathon or any other sporting event planned, give pre-event sports massage a try! (It may give you the fighting edge to smash your previous PB)”
“Post event massage is done after you have completed an event or training session. The aims of this massage are to assist in the cool down process, relax tight muscle groups, stimulate circulation and reduce potential soreness. In post event massage, the technique is light massage techniques to stimulate recovery.”
Importance of strength exercise for injury prevention
This great scientific research study evidences that strength training provides the most effective form of injury prevention! The stronger our muscles are, the more robust and less prone to injury they become.
Whether you prefer to complete your strength training at home, at the gym or even by attending our pilates classes, it’s certainly not the form of exercise you want to be avoiding!
What to do if You Sustain a Ligament / Muscular Injury
If you sustain an acute soft tissue injury such as a muscle or ligament injury we used to advise management by the acronym PRICE but it’s now PEACE & LOVE!
P – protect, restrict movement of the area for 1-3 days
E – elevate the limb above the level of the heart to reduce swelling
A – avoid anti-inflammatories, inflammation is the way our soft tissues heal properly
C – compress using tape or bandages to limit swelling
E – educate, book in for physiotherapy to learn about the best way to manage & rehabilitate your injury
L – load, we need to load (stretch, strengthen, use) the muscle to get it stronger & promote soft tissue healing
O – optimism, at the sight of injury the worst thing you can do is call it quits and leave it, be optimistic, book in for physio, rehabilitate it, let’s get you back running!
V – vascularisation, physical activity which promotes blood enhances healing by supplying much needed oxygen and nutrients
E – exercise, injury specific exercise such as balance, strength, stretch exercises are essential in order to fully recover from injury
If you’re unfortunate enough to have sustained an injury in the past few days or weeks it’s not necessarily too late to get back race fit so book in for your complimentary physiotherapy consultation and let’s build a rehabilitation plan!