By Carl Gargiulo, DPT
Getting regular physical activity is essential for achieving and maintaining good health, and that’s why we encourage all of our patients to get enough exercise every week. One of the best possible ways to stay active is by running, which requires little more than a good pair of running shoes, some outdoor routes to follow—or a treadmill—and the motivation to get moving. For these and many of its other attractive qualities, running has become one of the most popular forms of exercise in the U.S. But unfortunately, common running injuries tend to prevent would-be runners from getting started and may also hold back experienced runners from returning.
Recent statistics estimate that more than 40 million Americans claim to be regular runners. The reasons for this massive number of people being drawn to running may be different for everyone, but the wide array of health benefits associated with running is likely to be a major factor. Of the seemingly countless benefits that have been identified by research, running on a regular basis has been found to:
- Reduce high blood pressure
- Improve sleeping habits
- Lower the risk for cardiovascular disease
- Boost brain performance
- Improve mood by reducing stress and anxiety
- Help people better control weight and maintain good overall health
Some of the world’s most successful athletes have a secret weapon when it comes to staying competitive.
It’s Compex muscle stimulators.
Electrostimulation has been shown to improve stamina, increase strength and speed, help blood circulation, speed up recovery after a workout and provide other improvements to performance. Marathon runners benefit especially from muscle stimulators to increase their endurance while running. Of course, the other benefits also help… especially for an marathoner that’s focusing on training.
Electrostimulation devices work by gently contracting your muscles, which exercises them without the fatigue that comes with long workouts. So, you can train your body effectively without impacting your joints. Combined with your regular workouts, muscle stimulators can take your fitness to the next level. Compex is widely known as the leader in muscle stimulators – the Compex brand is a secret weapon of professional athletes such as triathlete Chris “Macca” McCormack.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your performance and your marathon times, then check out Compex muscle stimulators to gain an edge on your next race. Be sure to consult with your physician to ensure that electrostimulation is an appropriate training method for your situation.
In a recent blog post, we reported about the increased participation in marathon running and how the number of marathon injuries are also increasing as a result. These injuries occur because of the impact that your joints – in particular the knee – absorb during running.
Here are some common marathon knee injuries that may occur from excessive running:
Runner’s Knee (also known as chondromalacia or patellofemoral pain) – This condition describes irritation under the kneecap. The cartilage under the kneecap usually glides smoothly as the joint bends, but if it rubs against one side of the joint during movement, it can cause pain. Repetitive movement, most often associated with running, can increase your risk of runner’s knee – though this condition can be observed in non-runners as well. (Got runner’s knee or want to help prevent it? Check out knee braces for runner’s knee.)
Iliotibial Band Syndrome (also known as ITBS) – The iliotibial band is a long, thick mass of tissue that goes from the hip to the outside of the shin bone. It works with your thigh muscles to stabilize the knee. During repetitive movement, such as from marathon running, the iliotibial band may become irritated. This pain can sideline a runner so it’s best to take measures to prevent ITBS from occurring by having proper footwear. (Got Iliotibial Band Syndrome or want to help prevent it? Check out knee braces for ITBS.)
Patellar Tendonitis (also known as jumper’s knee) – This type of injury is an inflammation of the tendons around the knee joint. Though knee tendonitis is usually a stress injury seen with repetitive jumping, it’s also frequently seen in runners. Marathon runners who are often running on hard pavement are at an increased risk. (Got knee tendonitis or want to help prevent it? Check out the DonJoy Cross Strap, one of the best knee braces to alleviate patellar tendonitis pain and to help prevent occurrence.)
If you’re a marathon runner, take steps to protect your knee joints. Speak with your doctor at the first sign of knee pain to get the appropriate treatment for your injury.
Participation in marathon running has been steadily increasing since 1990. According to Running USA, the number of participants has nearly tripled between 1990 and 2011. At BetterBraces.com, we’ve noticed that with the increase in marathon running, also comes an increase in marathon running injuries.
Though marathon running is a relatively safe sport, the repetitive nature of running and jogging can cause stress injuries in the knees and ankles. There are some steps you can take to prevent marathon running injuries. If you’re a marathon runner, be sure to stretch before and after working out. Many runners also find it beneficial to stretch a bit, warm up, then stretch some more before going into full training mode.
It’s also important to have the right gear. Ensure your shoes (and even your socks) are the appropriate size and fit, and that the soles and padding have not worn out. You may want to consider wearing knee braces for running or ankle braces for running. These braces can help absorb the shock to your joints from the repetitive stress that comes with marathon running. It’s especially important if you’ve had a previous knee or ankle injury.
Remember to keep your joints happy and healthy!
Running USA: http://www.runningusa.org/statistics
Holly B. is an active professional in her late twenties who spends her free time playing recreational flag football and league basketball. She shares her experience with us as she explores the world of sports.
Recently, I’ve had several friends pick up marathon running as a hobby. They are all fairly active in other sports as well. But strangely enough, it’s the jogging that’s starting to give them issues with injuries. Many joggers experience injuries in the first 4-6 months of running. Risk of injuries increase as the distance and speed are increased as well.
Here’s some of the jogging injuries they’re starting to experience now:
Runner’s Knee – Also known as patellofemoral pain, runner’s knee is caused from repetitive bending of the knee. That’s why it’s common in runners, but it can also occur in other physical activities and sports as well. The pain occurs behind the kneecap and can make it aggravating to continue running. Check out some knee braces that help prevent runner’s knee.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB or ITBS) – ITBS is another common injury in runners, which one of my friends is experiencing now. The iliotibial band connects from the hip all the way down to the shin. When it gets inflamed is when runners and other athletes start to experience pain in the knee. It can sometimes be prevented with better shoes and running techniques, as well as wearing knee braces for Iliotibial Band Syndrome.
Ankle Instability – Another one of my friends is experiencing ankle pain and instability since picking up jogging. Because of the repetitive nature of the activity, and also the recurring force against a hard surface, jogging can cause old ankle injuries to come back full force. Athletes need to train carefully in order to make sure prior injuries don’t come back to haunt them from jogging. Check out some braces for ankle instability.
If you’re a jogger and you’re experiencing injuries, check with your doctor to determine the appropriate treatment for your situation. Don’t get fooled by the simple nature of jogging – make sure you protect yourself by wearing the appropriate gear and take the time to properly ramp up your training regiment!