There is nothing worse than an injury getting in the way of working out. Your routine is suddenly shattered and you’re left pondering – what is the best way to treat my injury fast?
Here we’ll detail three ways you can return from being an injured couch potato to a marathon runner again. Some of these are conventional, while others not so – but hopefully one will work for you.
Strengthen core muscles
One of the most common complaints that runners will experience is the runner’s knee or known in the medical world as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). It is estimated that 40 percent of all running injuries are knee-related, while 13 percent of runners had experienced knee pain in the last year. It usually flares up after a lengthy run, running up and down hills, or after extended periods of sitting down.
To get over this injury it is recommended that you strengthen your glute and hip muscles. You can do this by performing lateral side steps. Simply grab a resistance band a loop it above your ankles or knees. From here you will need to bend your knees while separating your feet. Once you’re in this position you will need to walk 10 to 15 steps sideways. This may look ridiculous, but with stronger glutes and hip muscles, you’ll reduce the chance of PFPS flaring up again.
Applying heat to muscles has been a remedy for muscle pain for as long as anybody can remember – and it still remains effective to this day. While gone are the days of heat packs, with treatments such as cryotherapy now becoming much more popular, temperature massages are still very much the common way to get back on the track.
Generally speaking, heat is usually used for relaxation, reassurance, and comfort. It is also effective at taking the edge off many common forms of body pain – we’re talking cramping, stiffness or even sensitivity. Of course, if your running wound is open and bleeding, then you applying heat is an absolute no-no. This is where ice comes into play – always use ice on inflamed tissue.
Take time off
As a last resort, you should time off. We appreciate that this is the worst news possible for a running fanatic, but if you continue to run with specific injuries, you’re only going to do more damage in the long-run. Take the time to chill out, relax, and maybe work on other things you’ve not had the time to do.
There are a number of injuries you should never even attempt to run through. These include shin splints, patellar tension sprains (if the pain continues the next day), chest pain that spreads to your back or neck, foot pain that crescendos the more that you run (which is probably a stress fracture), or lower-back pain. If you experience any of these during a short, medium or long run, either stop and get picked up or jog slowly back home and treat accordingly. It’s not worth aggravating an injury further.