RICE Your Running Injuries

RICE-Your-Running-Injuries

For acute running injuries such as ankle sprains or a strained muscle the first 48 hours are very important for recovery and to reduce the risk  of the injury happening again in the future. It is in those first 48 hrs when the inflammatory response occurs and acute injuries respond best to early treatment.

REST

Take pressure off the injured area and use it as little as possible.

ICE

Ice for about 10 min every 3 hours approx. Wrap ice or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel, never put ice straight on the skin.

COMPRESSION

Strap the joint, immobilise it, if you can, to prevent further damage. It will also make sure you rest the area…you can’t use it as you normally would.

ELEVATION

Elevate so the blood flows away from the area.

 

From the RICE, Rest and Ice are crucial.

The sooner you RICE your running injury the faster the healing.

You can read more about running technique and running injuries from the following books.

Solving The Achilles Tendonitis

Solving-The-Achilles-Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to the back of your heel. Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury causing pain and inflammation, usually felt as a dull or sharp pain along the back of the Achilles tendon, usually closer to the heel.

Possible causes of Achilles tendonitis

1. Weak calf muscles
2. Excessive pronation
3. Excessive stress being transmitted through the tendon
4. Excessive power to begin a new stride – push off

 

Solving the problem

Fist of all, allow the injury to heal. Take a break form running, give it time to heal. There are strengthening exercises you can do to speed up healing, such as Hakan Alfredson’s heel drop, which I used to do a few years ago, when I could barely walk from Achilles tendonitis, and found very useful. Also avoid aggressive stretching. The tendon is injured, it doesn’t need more aggression.

Second, once you are back and ready to resume running observe HOW you run. It might be that the cause of your injury is in your form. You might be placing excessive stress through the tendon with every single step. This is very common and, if the cause is in your form, it can be eliminated.

Here’s what to look for:

 

1. Landing under the body

The muscles on the front of your legs are considered braking muscles (tibialis anterior – shin; quadriceps – thighs). Muscles on the back of the legs (gastrocnemius and soleus – calf; hamstrings – thigh) are considered propulsive muscles that work with the Achilles tendon (Natural Running – Danny Abshire).

Most runners absorb too much impact from breaking when they land ahead of their body and use too much muscle power to keep moving forward. This “power run” style leads to high impact, long strides and push off which puts the propulsive muscles under great stress.

By landing under the body or the GCM (general centre of mass) and landing lightly on the midfoot/forefoot, then allowing the heel to touch the ground lightly (without putting weight on), you are using the muscles and soft tissues in your foot, ankle, legs and knees (which should be flexed) as shock absorbers to reduce the destructive impact.

This is the first thing to change in your running. All the following bullet points usually take care of themselves once your landing is straight under the body.

 

2. Midfoot/forefoot landing

Modern running shoes allow us to land as heavily as we wish. We can’t feel anything, but the impact is there, the damage is happening with symptoms showing up months later.

If you were to take your shoes off and run around a little you’d realise just how aggressive your run actually is. We do this sometimes on soft ground and clients are always shocked at how heavily they land. Without me saying anything their form slowly changes. Why? Because your body doesn’t like it so it will adapt. That doesn’t mean you have to give up regular running shoes, you can land with a midfoot/forefoot strike in any shoes.

Landing on your toes (high heels) or on your heels causes a lot of problems including damage to the Achilles tendon. What you are looking for is a light landing on the ball of the foot and then a light touch with the heel before going on to the next stride.

 

3. Flexed knees

Many runners land with a stiff leg and ankle, which means the muscles will not absorb the impact and so joints and tendons will suffer. Flex the knees and allow the ankles to bend and flex, don’t hold them stiff and don’t point your toes.

 

4. Pull, don’t push

When you begin a new stride try to pull the leg under your body rather than pushing your whole weight forward. It’s much easier to pull the leg than push the body. Makes sense? After this a slight lean from the ankles, with a straight, aligned body, will move you forward. It’s light and almost effortless. Here’s a video on how to pick up and pull your feet off the ground.

 

If you are a long distance, experienced runner you might find that getting these elements into your running form will slow you down and make you feel tired. You’ll probably run less than usual. But the question is: how bad do you want to solve your problem? Addressing the cause of your pain is the only way to permanently get rid of it. Any treatment will last for a while but repeating the same movements what lead to the injury in the first place will cause the injury to recur. Mileage can increase back to your normal, but if your injuries keep coming back you will probably stop running for good.

If you are interested in exploring and developing an effortless and injury-free running style you have a few options including a fast-track 4 weeks course 1-2-1. You will have videos and material after the course to help you continue to develop your running style. If you are interested leave a comment below or contact us here.

Running After Knee Injury – Testimonial Client Experience

Mariepaule had a really bad knee injury. She did the therapies recommended and got the OK. Then she came to work with Alexandra.

Through consistent running technique and natural movement practice, coaching and practicing by herself, Mariepaule recovered nicely and managed a 2 day walk, 2nd day combined with running.

 

This is what we look at on the Running Technique Workshop. Of course, changing the way you move and use your body takes time, but on the workshop you will leave with a few concepts that, if used, can make a huge difference.

While same results cannot be guaranteed, with practice, natural running technique will help you run faster, further, with less effort and fewer injuries.

Book your spot for the next workshop in East London, Canada Water.

Running With Lower Back Pain – Testimonial Client Experience

Running With Lower Back Pain - Testimonial Client Experience

Richard experienced sore back after running. We knew it was a non-specific lower back pain (i.e. not caused my disc problems, accidents etc) so we could work together.

Over the 12 months we’ve worked once a week to develop strength, flexibility and mobility through natural movement. We also corrected his running form to make it less destructive on his joints and body as a whole.

There were many many changes in his running form over the past 12 months which lead to NO MORE BACK PAIN!! during or after running.

But it’s not over. Next steps: fine tune technique, optimise performance and address other subtle imbalances, tension and restrictions in the body.

Well done Richard!

This is what we look at on the Running Technique Workshop. Of course, changing the way you move and use your body takes time, but on the workshop you will leave with a few concepts that, if used, can make a huge difference.

While same results cannot be guaranteed, with practice, natural running technique will help you run faster, further, with less effort and fewer injuries.

Book your spot for the next workshop in East London, Canada Water.

How Your Arms Make Your Running Heavy And Breathing Difficult

How-Your-Arms-Make-Your-Running-Heavy-And-Breathing Difficult

If you want to run lighter, breathe easier when you run and reduce the risk of injuries think about your arms. What you do with your arms, where they’re going, how they’re moving and everything in between.

I explain in the video and also show how your arm direction affects your running, making it heavy and it also affects your breathing.

When your arms cross your body midline the following happens:

  • your shoulder start to curl inwards
  • that leads to the chest closing up
  • which compresses the chest and rib cage
  • that leads to difficult breathing
  • your alignment is also off as the shoulders drop forward
  • your hips fall back
  • your general centre of mass in behind you
  • your lower back takes a lot of pressure
  • your lower back is sore

To avoid this chain reaction you arms should move forward, and your elbows lightly brushing your body.

Check out the March 2017 Running Technique Workshop in East London.

If you live in Surrey we have weekly classes dedicated to runners. Get in touch for more information

Dracula’s Retreat link as promised in the video click here.

How Runners Damage Their Knees

how-runners-damage-their-knees.

Are you a runner? Do you suffer from knee pain but there is no structural damage that you are aware of (i.e. meniscus, ligament damage etc)? Not yet at least!

Then you should consider looking at HOW you run, your running form, more than for how long and how fast you run.

In this video I explain the main mistake runners make from a technical point of view. That main mistake runners make that lead to damaged knees is OVER STRIDING. Yep. Shorten your stride and you will be using your body in a less destructive way, because when you over stride you:

1. Lock your knee

The moment you lock out your knee it cannot absorb the impact as is would when it is slightly bent. When it is slightly bent you are using the knees and muscles aroudn the knees, the stabilizor msucles as suspension to take on the pressure. When you lovk your knees all you do is put all that pressure and impact on the joint itself.

 

2. Break your fall

In the POSE Method of running Dr Romanov talks about using gravity to move the body forwards, leaning the whole body from the ankles (not bending from the hips). However, when you over stride all you do is break your fall. Add a locked knee to the equation and you have the recipe for knee injuries.

 

3. Push off 

When you over stride the only way to move on is to push off with the back leg. When you push off you stretch out the leg and you also get a reaction from the ground (for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction). The harder you push off the harder the reaction from the ground.

There are a few other reasons when you don’t want to over stride which I haven’t covered in this video but will in future videos.

Watch the video below and if you wish to enquire about our Running Workshop please fill in the form under the video and we will get in touch within 2 business days.

Enquire about Running Technique Workshops:

Running Technique – Shoulder Pain And How To Solve It

One of the most common habits runners have is the tensing and lifting of the shoulders, which includes the deltoids, trapezius, romboids, simply put it’s your shoulders and shoulder blades. The idea is to relax and release the tension in the area. I explain more in this video. This will also help you minimize running injuries related to shoulders, down the road.

Factors Leading To Running Injuries – Flexibility And Mobility

When you run your muscles contact and expand. Hundreds of times, maybe even thousands for long distance runners.  Tight muscles and joints can lead to all sorts of injuries including knee pain, lower back pain, plantar fasciitis, muscle cramps.

 

Working on your flexibility and mobility as a runner means you will:

– run faster

– run for longer

– recover faster

– reduce the risk of injuries – including muscle cramps, pulled muscles, lower back pain, plantar fasciitis

– improve blood circulation

 

Furthermore the focus of you stretch and mobility exercises should be not only on lower body but also hips, AND upper body. Why? Because firstly running in a full body movement, second notice how your body moves in diagonal – left leg with right arm, right leg with left arm – there is a rotation in the body every time you step. Third, upper body muscles have to contract and expand just like the lower body, otherwise that rotation wouldn’t take place, it would be very uncomfortable, tight, and at risk on injury.

 

Are 10 min of stretching at the beginning and end of your run enough?

Not really. I mean come on, do you think that after running 5 km 10 min of quick stretches will release the muscles and joints? If you help every stretch for 10-15 sec, and you stretched your whole body, 10 min wouldn’t be enough.

Instead consider:

– having 2 shorter running sessions per week that begin with 10 min stretches and end with a 30 min stretch – full body

– signing up for a weekly yoga and/or pilates class

– natural movement fitness (the kind that we do here at The Merisoiu Technique Institute)

 

Remember, the whole body needs to be flexible, mobile and strong for a runner to be complete.


For coaching or advice email support@themtechnique.com or book a consultation

Want to know when the next running technique workshop takes place leave your details below and you will receive the updates.

Factors Leading To Running Injuries – Transition Speed

You are a long distance runner, but want to switch to interval training to get faster. I get you, it’s normal and a natural progression.

Do read the short article on Change to begin with, then come back to this one.

 

When you want to change your training regime, to transition from endurance to speed, you must remember:

1. Your nervous system dictates how long the transition will take. Force it and you may end up injured.

2. Your slow twitch muscles fibers – needed for endurance – are more developed while the fast twitch muscle fibers – needed for fast, explosive movements – are less developed. Give them time to develop. You can’t hurry the adaptation process.

3. Think of this new training regime as if you were starting from zero, as if you were a beginner – thus begin with easy exercises, practice a beginners routine 6-8 weeks and then go to the next routine, more difficult, more challenging.

 

For coaching or advice email support@themtechnique.com or book a consultation

Want to know when the next running technique workshop takes place leave your details below and you will receive the updates.

Factors Leading To Running Injuries – Posture And Body Alignment

Factors-Leading-To-Running-Injuries-Alignment

If posture is essential to prevent lower back pain and sore shoulders, why is it an element runners seldom, if ever, think about? We, runners, all know it’s important, but we just know, it’s there, it’s important….and that’s about all the attention posture gets, from many runners.

Posture is THE first element you need to look at in all areas of your life, not least your running technique.

Well aligned runners will have fewer injuries. Why? Because your body is meant to be aligned, to move in alignment, it will always seek alignment. When we don’t give what it needs then things go downhill. Slow, it may take a few years, but we get there.

Furthermore your alignment throughout your regular daily activities will impact your running alignment. You can’t have a poor posture 90% of the time, and expect to have a good posture when you run. Sure, it’s alright to forget your posture sometimes, we all do, but not most of the time.

Poor posture and alignment in running can (and does) lead to:

– lower back pain
– knee damage
– ankle injuries – a poor posture does put a lot pressure on the feet and ankles, they are your base of support afterall
– foot injuries
– sore shoulders
– shoulder and neck injuries
– tight neck and shoulder muscles
– reduced flexibility and  mobility – in legs and trunk as well – which can lead to pulled muscles

These are only some of the effects of incorrect body alignment and posture. Other include other area of your health such as digestion (yes, poor posture – poor digestion).

What is the correct alignment for running you ask? According to POSE Method Of Running there should be a straight line ear – shoulder – hip – ball of foot (which is the support and point of contact with the ground; ball of food is not toes or heel).

Alexander Technique is similar, with the only difference the straight line end just in front of the ankle. Since in Alexander Technique we look at standing and walking, alignment is a littler bit different, ever so slightly.

I will write another article on the topic.

Need coaching? Email support@themtechnique.com of click here to book a consultation.

Want to know when the next running technique workshop will take place leave your details below and you will receive the updates.