Handling Walking and Running Injuries

According to research, 20 to 80 percent of runners suffer injuries every year. Obviously, this figure is smaller for walkers due to the diminished impact pressures, but even so, pavement pounders of all stripes struggle with a variety of bothersome conditions, from knee discomfort to plantar fasciitis.

These kinds of injuries frequently result from poor technique, biomechanical problems with the gait, imbalances in strength and flexibility, and poor or worn-out footwear. The good news is that there are answers to each of these issues. In fact, many of the most frequent injuries can be avoided altogether if they are dealt with in a timely manner.

Studies have even been conducted to identify particular risk factors in the hopes of assisting runners and walkers in preventing issues before they occur. For instance, a research that examined 930 novice runners discovered that those older than 45 were more likely to have an injury. A higher injury rate was also seen in people with BMIs over 30, as well as in people with a history of injuries unrelated to running. Furthermore, they discovered that runners with a type B personality, which is described as “relaxed, laid-back,” as opposed to a type A personality, suffered from greater running injuries.

It can be helpful to be aware that you might need to be more watchful when it comes to preventing injuries if you fit into any of these groups. You can avoid serious problems that could put you on the sidelines by being aware of the symptoms and indicators of common walking and running disorders, as well as how to react. The vast majority of the time, keeping yourself active all season (or year) long can be achieved by arming yourself with some basic injury knowledge and paying attention to your body.

It’s critical for all walkers and runners to distinguish between normal aches and pains and discomfort brought on by injuries. You may suffer some aches as your body changes if you start a new workout program after a time of inactivity. However, you should act right away if you feel any kind of sharp or severe pain. This is your body’s way of alerting you that something is off.

If it’s just typical soreness, carry on with your training as scheduled. It may take a week or more before you feel completely recovered from an exercise because delayed onset muscle soreness can appear a few days later. Thankfully, discomfort doesn’t indicate anything serious and will go away on its own.

Pulling back on your walking or running program should be your first course of action for more severe injuries so you can assess the situation. Early detection and appropriate treatment of an injury can make the difference between a few days’ or a few months’ absence.

Reduce your mileage.

Adjusting your training is the first thing you should do when responding to a pain that seems suspicious because overtraining is one of the primary causes of running and walking injuries. Depending on the injury, this can entail quitting walking or jogging altogether or just limiting your weekly time spent on your feet. Be cautious when increasing your mileage again if the problem goes away in a few days.

Engage in cross-training.

Try substituting time spent riding or swimming for walking or running if your knee is bothering you, for example. By selecting a low-impact aerobic activity, you may maintain your cardiovascular fitness without putting too much stress on your bones, joints, and muscles.

Use ice.

Inflammation can be reduced with icing. Draw up an ice bath for yourself, get a bag of frozen peas, or freeze paper cups full of water, then apply it to the painful area for 10 minutes, twice daily.

Attempt self-massaging.

Before they become serious injuries, many common soft-tissue issues can be resolved with the help of foam rollers and massage sticks. Early detection is key to treating ailments like IT band syndrome, which can frequently be treated with daily foam rolling exercises.

You should make an appointment with a specialist if the DIY remedies haven’t worked for you or if the pain is severe or continuous. The issue is, which physician should you visit? The top medical professionals to see for injuries sustained while jogging or walking are listed below:

Sports medicine doctors are a fantastic place to start if you’re unsure of where to go for help with an injury. They not only work closely with physical therapists and athletic trainers to develop a treatment plan and get you on the path to recovery, but they can also identify a wide range of running or walking disorders.

Podiatrist: A podiatrist may be your best option if you suffer injuries that extend from the knee to the foot. They treat everything from plantar fasciitis to Achilles tendonitis since they are experts in foot problems. Additionally, they can help with the design of bespoke orthotics, which can protect walkers and runners from harm throughout the entire kinetic chain.

Chiropractor: To keep their bodies in the best possible alignment, many physically active people swear by their chiropractors. A chiropractor is a wonderful choice for routine maintenance treatment in addition to helping with a wide range of bone and soft tissue issues. They can use soft-tissue therapies like Graston and Active Release Technique in addition to adjustments.

Sports massage therapist: These soft-tissue experts have been taught to remove adhesions and knots that are hurting and impairing proper muscular function. For more significant problems, many of them are also trained in Graston and Active Release Technique.

Physical therapists: They can help you determine the source of your problems and offer a rehab plan for current ailments. Physical therapists may frequently identify the root cause of a problem with a battery of tests, such as treadmill running or walking as well as strength and balance assessments. In addition to rehabilitation, they frequently provide you exercises to help you avoid future occurrences of the same problems.

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