Whether you’re running Berkeley fire-trails behind the stadium just for fun, or stepping it up for the more serious undertaking that is the Berkeley Half Marathon, you will want to learn about the most common running injuries. Furthermore, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent these injuries! As it turns out, preventing these running injuries is quite similar to treating them, so you will save yourself some agony if you can identify them early.
When we talk about running injuries in Berkeley or Oakland, we’re not talking about mountain lion attacks on the fire-trails, tripping over unavoidable political posters, or even getting into fights with people wearing red shirts (go Bears!). The most common running injuries are insidious, meaning that they develop slowly and steadily, in the most tricky and dastardly way. You could train all throughout the summer months, only to have a repetitive use running injury sneak up on you in the middle of November, right before your first attempt at running the Berkeley Half!
Avoiding Running Injuries
The most interesting thing about most of the following running injuries is that the PREVENTION is the SAME as the TREATMENT! Yes you read that correctly! If you click on an individual link below, you will be taken to an article we’ve written that specifically address the symptoms, causes, prevention, and treatment of that particular injury.
You may start to notice patterns. For instance, plantar fasciitis (pain on the bottom of your foot near your heel) is best TREATED by a sports chiropractor performing Active Release Techniques to the muscles and fascia on the bottom of the foot, as well as to the tight, overworked muscles in the calf, hamstrings, and glutes. In order to PREVENT plantar fasciitis, you will need to stand on a tennis ball to breakup the adhesions that are starting to form (due to overuse) on the bottom of the foot. You will also need to foam roll your calf, hamstring, and glute muscles to alleviate the tightness in those structures that is causing the problem downstream at the foot. To TREAT plantar fasciitis, you stretch the calf muscles. To PREVENT it, you also…you guessed it…stretch the calf muscles! Additional TREATMENT includes strengthening the glute muscles, because this improves lower extremity biomechanics. In terms of PREVENTING the issue, starting a glute strengthening program early in the running season goes a long way!
Adjusting the foot is a great TREATMENT to make sure the talus (top foot bone) is gliding smoothly in it\’s ankle mortise, and that all the other foot bones are able to move in all desired directions. A great PREVENTION measure for plantar fasciitis is to have your Oakland or Berkeley sports chiropractor check your feet to make sure there are no fixations and that everything is moving properly.
The parallels between treatment and prevention can be similarly drawn for each of the other running injuries in this article. Generally speaking, if you’re not sure where you need to be focusing your efforts (where do you need to stretch, what should you be mobilizing, what is moving too much, what is weak, etc.) preventative visits to your Active Release Techniques chiropractor can get you pointed in the right direction in terms of self care, and will keep your body as tuned-up as possible. Like regular maintenance visits on your vehicle will keep it running longer and more efficiently, regular prevention checkups at the sports chiropractor will keep you functioning at your highest potential.
Outside of the doctor’s office, you can take general wellness measures to fuel your body properly. Fuel can take the form of proper nutrition, adequate sleep, reducing stress, adopting a mind-body practice, and simply getting enough vitamin D through sunshine or supplements.
Follow the links below for specific injuries:
2. Shin splints (medial tibial stress syndrome)
5. Hip pain (VIDEO)
9. Calf strain
We are here to help support you in your running and fitness endeavors. If you have any questions about running injuries, would like to be evaluated for a specific injury, or would like to schedule a preventative tune-up, please give us a call! We can be reached at (510)465-2342.
Image credit: Berkeley pictures via wiki cc