Category Archives: Running Injuries

Weak Knees : Exercise to Strengthen Weak Knees

Weak knees affects a few runners. A reader of this blog sent me an email asking me what she can do with her weak knees.

The New York times had an article on the issue of running and knees.

Running Makes your Knees stronger

In a Stanford University study researchers followed middle-aged, longtime distance runners (not necessarily marathoners) for nearly 20 years, beginning in 1984, when most were in their 50s or 60s. At that time, 6.7 percent of the runners had creaky, mildly arthritic knees, while none of an age-matched control group did. After 20 years, however, the runners’ knees were healthier; only 20 percent showed arthritic changes, versus 32 percent of the control group’s knees. Barely 2 percent of the runners’ knees were severely arthritic, while almost 10 percent of the control group’s were.

Debunking the myth that Running leads to degeneration of the knees

The word on the street is that running may weaken your knees but In another scientific study runners knees were scanned before and after 1997 Vienna Marathon. Ten years later, they scanned the same runners’ knees again. The results were striking. “No major new internal damage in the knee joints of marathon runners was found after a 10-year interval,”

According to Ross Tucker, a South African who blogs about running injuries he said the best solution for weak knees is targeted strength training. If you work on the the muscles that support your knees, hip stabilizers, quads, hamstrings you will have strong knees. It is weakness in one of these muscle groups that causes knee injury.

Another interesting solution I picked from comments on the NY times article was this one by a Dr. “The issue is weight, not running. The more you weigh, the greater the chance you will develop osteoarthritis as you age. The key is to remain slim lifelong.”

VIDEO : EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN KEY LEG MUSCLES TO PREVENT INJURIES

This video should help

Health Insurance For Marathon Runners & Amateur Athletes

Health insurance is important for amateur athletes who participate in marathon races, half marathon, 10k or 5K races. Although events cover runners on the day of the race, the health insurance is limited plus it does not cover injury sustained when training.

Before going out to buy health insurance to cover you for running related injuries you need to get familiar with insurance policies. You need to know whether health insurance companies in your country or state cover pre-existing injuries. In the US states such as California and New York are no longer allowed to exclude pre-existing injuries from treatment.

Cost of Health Insurance For Runners

I thought health insurance companies have discount for active amateur athletes but the reality is it doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete or a person participating in organized athletic events at almost any level. You’ll pay the same amount as someone who is overweight and unhealthy.

The winners are the health insurance companies who get premium from a healthy pool.

Analyzing your Health Insurance plan For Running Related Injuries

People looking for Sports Injury Protection should check that the plan covers for fractures, dislocations and torn ligaments. It should also include income replacement benefit if your injury keeps you off work, as well as physiotherapy treatment, dental treatment. This type of insurance can be available separately or as part of private health insurance. Standalone sports cover may provide a lump-sum payment if you break a bone.

Beware of cheap health insurance for runners, if an insurance company quotes you a very low price they are most likely offerign you a very limited cover. Read the fine print.

Arch Pain Running : Cause & Treatment

Arch pain when running is normally a symptom of a heel running injury. It could be a heel spur or a plantar fasciitis. To know which is which you will need to get a feel of your arch.

Cause of Arch Pain When running

The cause of the arch pain is because of  heel injury which is a common running injury. It is common because your heel is usually at the receiving end of all running impact. It is said the weight on the foot and heel when landing is four times your body weight.

Diagnosing Heel Injury

Heel Spurs – The pain is felt at the front part of your heel, where the arch and the heel meet.

Plantar Fasciitis – The pain is felt at the center of the heel. To diagnose plantr fasciitis press really hard with your thumb on the center of the heel. If the pain is felt at the center, it is indeed plantar fasciitis.

Heel injury picture : Heel injury photo

Treatment of Arch pain from running injury.

The first thing to do is stop running and take a rest. Apply ice at least 72 hours after running activity. Try heel stretching exercises, they will help to relieve the inflammation. Apply anti inflammation cream. If the pain is too much, you can’t walk or stand see your Doctor.

Plantar Fasciitis Physical Therapy Exercises Video

Plantar fasciitis is irritation and swelling of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot.It is a common running injury. Symptoms of Plantar fasciitis, the most common complaint is pain in the bottom of the heel.

Plantar Fasciitis Physical Therapy Exercises

Physical therapy is part of treatment for Plantar fasciitis.

In the following video we show demonstration of effective Plantar Fasciitis exercises that will speeds up healing. The exercises can be used as part of your physical therapy treatment.

Heel Injuries From Running

Heel injuries from running are quite a common issue for runners, both for newcomers and experienced runners. The reason heel injuries from running are common is because your heels take the initial shock when you land on your feet, each and every time.

Types of Heel injuries from running

Heel Spurs – The pain is felt at the front part of your heel, where the arch and the heel meet.

Plantar Fasciitis – The pain is felt at the center of the heel. To diagnose plantr fasciitis press really hard with your thumb on the center of the heel. If the pain is felt at the center, it is indeed plantar fasciitis.

Heel injury picture : Heel injury photo

Pain In The Bottom and The Back of Your Heel

If you are out running and you feel pain in the bottom and the back of your heel you don’t worry because it might just be nothing serious. Heel pain is quite a common issue for runners, both for newcomers and experienced runners.

Cause of Heel pain

Heel pain is due to the fact your heels take the initial shock when you land on your feet, each and every time. Heel pain could be a sign of heel injuries from running or it could just be a your heel is feeling the intensity of running.

If the heel pain disappears after running and you can walk without any problems it is probably nothing. If you often feel this kind of heel pain while running make sure to ice the heel immeditely after running, get sufficient rest after running and get regular heel massage.

But if you feel pain and limp after you stop running then you are suffering from a heel injury. If you suspect your case is serious read the post on Heel Injuries from running.

Running Injuries Lower Leg

Lower leg injuries consist of running injuries that afflict the knee going downwards. These are injuries on the shin, calf, heel, ankle and the foot.

The lower leg injuries can be mild, in the case of muscle soreness or serious cases like stress fractures.

Cause of Lower Leg Injuries during running

Researchers from the University of Calgary found that weak hip muscles are to blame for 92 percent of lower-leg running injuries.

Exercise to Stregthen Lower leg

Try exercises such as squats and step-ups to target-harden yourself against these sidelining lower leg injuries.

Knee Joint Strengthening Exercise Video

Knee injury is another common running injury. Knee injuries while running are usually caused by increasing the intensity or duration of running too quickly.

A knee injury could be a knee tendonitis or just a muscle train. Moderate knee injuries can heal by themselves but when the knee injury is serious, it is important to see a physician.

Treatment of knee injury involves exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the knee. The following video demonstrates knee joint and muscle strengthening exercises.

 

Heel Pain When Running : Cause & Treatment

Heel pain when running is a common running injury, especially common with runners who run down hills.

Cause of Heel Pain injury

Heel injury happens when running down hills. When running down hill the foot lands on the heel. This makes the heel to come under extreme pressure and stress. When stress is too much the heel eventually suffers a painful injury. It could be a stress fracture or other tissue injury.

Another cause of heel pain injury is running on over used running shoes. When the sole of the shoe is worn out, the heel gets less support. The lesser the support the higher the risk of heel injury and other foot injuries.

Treatment of Heel Pain Injury

Mild heel injury can heal on their own. The first line of treatment is to stop running and rest the heel. The heel should be iced at least 78 hours after running.

Serious heel pain injury are best treated by a physician. In severe cases the heel may need to be supported with a bandage.

Hamstring Strengthening Exercises

The hamstring is one of the core muscles used during running. The hamstring itself is a group of three muscles that run along the back of your thigh. They allow you to bend your leg at the knee.

The stronger the hamstring the faster and longer you can run before you fatigue. And the stronger your hamstring the lesser the risk of suffering from a running hamstring injury.

In the following video you will see five easy hamstring strengthening exercises that you can do at home:

  1. Swiss ball curls
  2. Swiss ball reverse bridges
  3. Standing superman
  4. Straight leg dead lift
  5. Reverse lurge with med ball