Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A tally of running injuries

I want to look at a topic that has been on my mind a lot lately as I have been suffering from sporadic knee pain recently--and that topic is running injuries. I knew that when I started running, I would not be able to avoid injury. Now that I have been running for a few years, I want look back at all of the various injuries that I have coped with since then.

Here is a list of the injuries I can remember:
  • Tendonitis (arch of left foot) - first running injury, too much too soon
  • Shin splints (stopped after I stopped using my old sneakers and stuck with the barefoot and minimalist running only)
  • Calf muscle pulls or strains (determined hydration was the biggest cause for me)
  • Plantar fasciitis (seems to be gone right now)
  • IT band syndrome (pain in the outside edge of my right knee)
  • Achilles pain (tightness on the right side)
Some of these are things I experienced as I was getting started and they have not reoccurred (shin splits, calf strains, etc.) but others have been nagging me for a long time (plantar fasciitis and IT band syndrome.) Thankfully, none have been bad enough to put me out of commission for any significant length of time. The longest I have stopped running was about a month after I ran the Livestrong 10k back in 2011, when I knew I ran too much and too fast, and was suffering from calf pains.

I have a nice collection of medical braces that I have accumulated over the years, including foam rollers, massage balls, ProStretch rocker, knee braces, ankle braces, night splits for plantar fasciitis, compression sleeves for just about every part of my lower body, and I am soon going to be adding an IT Band compression wrap to my arsenal. I have also experimented a lot with KT Tape in the past and have started trying it again. Every one of these tools has helped a little bit, but I am starting to feel like I run a doctor's office with the number of tools I have at my disposal. (In addition to all of the tools I have at home, I also get routine massages, along with routine chiropractic and acupuncture treatments.)
None of these injuries are going to stop me from running because I have found that I enjoy the activity too much, but I definitely need to slow down once in a while and just let my body heal. I have started introducing a lot of cross training into my routine, other than cycling, such as fitness boxing/kickboxing classes that include core training as well. These classes have been allowing me to stay in shape without abusing my legs too much and I have to say I am really starting to see some positive results (weight loss, a little bit energy, a much stronger core, and generally feeling more fit.)

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