fbpx

HealthKlinix Newsletter – February 2022

RUNNING TIPS FROM YOUR PHYSIO

Running is a hugely rewarding sport that can be done almost anywhere. An injury to a runner can be extremely frustrating, particularly as they are often related to overuse and take time to recover. Here are a few tips for how to prevent injuries from running.

Your shoes are important.

Running long distances means that bodies are exposed to repeated stress which is increased with any biomechanical flaws. Shoes that don’t fit correctly can exacerbate this stress, causing injuries to occur faster. Speak to your physiotherapist about things you should consider when buying a pair of running shoes.

Focus on strengthening your upper body.

The strength, control and flexibility of your upper body can have a significant impact on your running. This might be counterintuitive, however having better posture, breathing patterns and balance of your upper body means you exert less energy while running, improving your overall performance.

Don’t neglect strength training.

When one part of the body is weaker, through injury or disuse, your body is excellent at working around it, with other muscles simply working harder to compensate. Over time this can lead to overuse injuries. Identifying any discrepancy in muscle strength early can help prevent injuries. General strengthening programs can also help to improve your endurance and protect your joints and ligaments from pressure by acting as shock absorbers.

Take rest days:

Having a goal when running, such as entering an event, is a great way to keep you motivated. However, your body tissues need time to build strength and resilience as you start running greater distances. One of the biggest causes of running injuries is simply doing too much too soon. Rest and recovery are important parts of building strength in body tissues.

Have fun:

Your training will be more enjoyable when you listen to your body. Maintaining the enjoyment of your running will help you to stay motivated and reach your long-term goals. Ask your physiotherapist for tips on how to stay injury-free while achieving your running goals.

None of the information in this article is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your injury.


The relationship between stress and pain

There is a common fear among people with long term pain that they won’t be believed. The longer that pain persists without any obvious cause, the more this can be a concern and friends and family can sometimes struggle to understand. Is there any truth to the idea that pain can be all in your head? This is a more complicated topic than you might think. The fact is that the experience of pain is always created by your brain. It is true that the intensity of pain felt can be influenced by many different factors, including stress.

Understand how pain works:

It was widely believed by the medical community for a long time the intensity of pain felt was proportional to tissue damage and the severity of the injury. We now understand that rather than an indicator of damage, pain is a warning system from our body to alert us to danger. While might seem like a small difference, it can have a huge impact on your lived experience, as your brain is using a wide variety of information to decide if what it feels should send a large or small warning signal. Many things can influence this, including your past experiences, family beliefs, previous injuries and if you are in a calm or stressed state.

How does stress play a role?

Your body is constantly receiving a huge amount of sensory input and your brain needs to interpret what those sensations mean to keep you safe. When a sensation is considered to be a threat, your brain will create a pain signal, the more serious the threat is considered, the more intense the pain will be.

For example, your brain might create a more intense pain signal if:

– The cause of the pain is not known, so the sensation also causes a fear reaction.

-Your nervous system is in a state of hypervigilance because you are very worried about the pain and what it will mean for your work/hobbies. In this state, your brain will pay closer attention to any pain signals.

-The injury occurred through a traumatic event, such as a car accident. When pain is associated with a memory that also causes distress, the pain will be felt more severely.

What does this mean for my pain?

Understanding pain simply gives us more tools to address it, without taking away from our traditional treatments. We know that stress reduction strategies, such as mindfulness can help to reduce pain levels, aid recovery and improve quality of life. Your physiotherapist has some great knowledge and advice on how to deal with long term pain.

None of the information in this article is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your injury.