Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise. It’s easy, doesn’t require much equipment, and you can do it anytime and anywhere. It is also one of the most straightforward ways to get the benefits of exercise. Aside from the health benefits, you can join runner communities to expand your social circle. It truly is a great way to be active and relieve stress.
However, there are risks associated with running. Although risks are common with any exercise, preparing for them is the best way to avoid them. Remember: prevention is always better than cure.
Below are reminders from a knee doctor for runners who want to improve their performance and take care of their health.
1. Wear proper running gear.
Running is one of the most low-cost forms of exercise. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in quality running shoes. Using proper running gear will reduce the risks of spraining your ankle or injuring your knee, and help boost your running performance.
Shoes that support your feet and back will keep you comfortable during exercise. There is a wide range of products in the market that boast features that support the feet while running. Make sure to check them out and choose what you think would be best for you.
2. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down.
Like any exercise, running requires proper warm-up and cooldown routines. Stretching is a good form of warming up, and runners need to focus on the Achilles tendon, hamstring, and quadriceps to lessen the risk of sprains and strains while running.
You can also do a dynamic warm-up by starting your run with a slow pace and then progressively raising the speed and intensity of your movement. Bear in mind that a warm-up should only produce mild sweating and should not leave you fatigued.
Another vital part of the routine is the cooldown. It allows the body to return to its normal physiological level following an intense, high-adrenaline workout. Slow-pace jogging or stretching exercises can also be performed as a cooldown.
3. Stay hydrated.
Staying hydrated helps regulate your body temperature, and keeps your joints lubricated and your organs functioning properly.
Make sure to drink water before, during, and after your run. For starters, drink two cups of water about two hours before your run and then six to eight ounces of water 15 minutes before you exercise. If you plan to run for more than one hour, drink water at regular intervals during the run. After a run, aim to drink at least 16 ounces of water, along with food.
4. Do not push yourself too hard.
While we all aim for progressive exercise, you should not run beyond your current fitness level. Most running injuries are due to exercise errors, such as running too far, too fast, or too soon. If you want to improve your running performance, try progressively increasing your weekly running distance only by up to 10% each week.
5. Always be on the lookout for symptoms.
Do not ignore pain when running, because it is often your body’s way of telling you something is wrong.
Generally, knee injuries from running are classified as acute or chronic. Acute injuries occur suddenly during exercise, including sprains and strains. Meanwhile, chronic injuries result from overusing one area of the body for an extended period. Common signs of both injuries include sudden and stabbing pain, swelling, tenderness, and an inability to fully extend the range of motion.
6. Use the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).
The treatment for running injuries depends on the kind and degree of injury. The RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) is usually used to relieve pain and inflammation, and promote speedy healing. It should be done immediately after an injury and be maintained for at least 48 hours.
7. Know when to seek treatment for your knee injury.
Most knee injuries, particularly those obtained from running, do not require surgery. However, there are instances when surgery is needed. You should consult your knee doctor if:
- Your knee injury causes severe pain, swelling, or numbness
- You are unable to bear any weight on the affected area due to pain and instability
- A previous knee injury’s pain or dull soreness is followed by increased swelling, a joint abnormality, or instability
Knee Doctors in Farmington Hills, MI
Physical activities, like running, have several health benefits, but they also put you at greater risk of musculoskeletal injuries. If you love to run regularly and want to take care of your health, it is best to seek an experienced orthopedic doctor.
At Tri-County Orthopedics, our highly-trained knee doctors can help assess, diagnose, and treat your sports injury to help you get the most out of your running experience.
If you are looking for a qualified knee doctor in Farmington Hills, MI, call our office at (248) 474-5575 or request an online appointment. Visit us today!