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Please be safe, consult with your
physician before beginning any
new fitness plan.
Running is a repetitive exercise. Some runners experience a certain level of discomfort every day. Most of these aches and pains are temporary. Tiny micro-tears occur as muscles break down during training. The muscles, tendons and joints become stronger through adequate rest and nutrition. Here are some helpful guidelines to determine whether it’s an injury or a passing ache or pain.
Pain – Pain after running or hours after. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Don’t ignore it or use medication to mask it.
Swelling – A swollen area indicates inflammation. Inflammation is a sign of injury.
Increasing Pain – Discomfort that continues to get worse. If your discomfort is getting worse, that’s a sign that something is wrong.
Decreasing Function – This is pain that alters your natural gait. This is a sure sign that you are compensating to avoid pain.
When in doubt, see your doctor. It’s better to take a day or two off than continue running with an injury. Sports doctors or podiatrists are best for treating foot problems. In the meantime here are some things you can do:
Rest - Stop running, take a few days off and see if you feel better
Ice - Ice the injured area. Ice helps reduce inflammation and stimulates circulation. (Ice for 20 minutes)
Compression – If the area is swollen, wrap it firmly, but not so tightly as to cut off circulation. Compression helps pump some of the swelling out of the area.
Elevation – Elevating the injured area higher than your head will prevent blood from pooling in the area. This will help keep circulation flowing and decrease inflammation.