Your 1, 2, 3 For Tackling Running Injuries
Being injured can be one of the most frustrating things a runner faces. Here are our top 3 actions to take if you find yourself injured.
Some injuries call for immediate attention from a medical professional. So, before self-diagnosing, you must use your instinct and common-sense: if it seems serious or you’re really worried, take your running injury to A&E or a sports physiotherapist.
But if you’ve sustained a more minor running injury, there’s plenty you can do to minimise pain and inflammation, and manage the damage.
1. Stop Running!
It sounds obvious but can be hard to implement… but you must rest when you’re injured. Stay off the injured foot, ankle or leg, elevate it if you can, but most of all just rest. That will probably mean a rest from running for at least a week. Once you think your running injury has healed, rest some more. Don’t rush to get back to running. There’s no way it could help, but there’s a high chance it will hinder you in the long-term. Rest, and then get back to activity with cross-training options that don’t stress or impact the injured area.
2. Get Inflammation Down
Use icepacks, compression gear and (if you choose to take them) anti-inflammatory medication to manage bruising, inflammation and internal bleeding. If you have compression socks or tights, put them on for the first few days. Otherwise, bandage or tubi-grip the injured area, removing the compression from time to time to allow the circulation to flow freely. Ice is a great, cheap way to reduce inflammation (but be sure to alternate icing the area and removing the ice, to encourage blood flow). NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory) medication can be very effective, but some people choose not to use it.
Once your minor running injury is past the initial stages and has begun to heal, think about rehabilitating the limb, joint or muscle. You may choose to go and see a professional to help you: a physio or sports massage therapist will be able to assist you with soft tissue work, stretches and rehab exercises. Otherwise, there’s plenty you can do at home with foam rolling, stretching and mobilisation work.
Are you injured? What steps did you take to contain the injury, and get back to running in the long-term?