|Blog contributed by|
Overuse injuries in runners happen in part due to poor mechanics, but overtraining also has a role in developing injuries. Most runners who are experiencing problems, are training inappropriately. Your body needs time to recover after a strenuous workout. If you continue to push without having a period of rest, it will lead to further breakdown of your body and eventually have problems with injuries.
Many of the overuse injuries that were described in the newsletter can be avoided with proper training practices. The goal of a training program is to allow for variation in intensity, frequency, and duration of the activity, while having periods of rest in between. When first starting out, slowly progress into more intense workouts.
Signs of overtraining can be decreased performance, easy fatigability, overuse injuries, mood disturbances and others.
If you develop any these symptoms, a full work-up ( including blood work) is often needed to make sure nothing metabolically is wrong. That combined with a decrease in intensity of your workouts for 2-3 weeks, can help point to the cause.
The best prevention is to have varied workouts, and allow adequate rest periods in between workouts. Most “athletes” can exercise 4-5 days a week, giving them adequate rest periods. Exercising 7 days a week is not recommended. Treatment for overtraining is rest, which can be frustrating, thus take the proper steps to avoid it.
Proper stretching before and after exercise is very important, focusing on static stretches after a light warm-up. Most advise against dynamic stretching at this point.
Also when running long distance in high amounts, it’s important to make sure the shoes are well fitted, and that you are replacing them every 400 miles.
Another aspect that is often overlooked in runners is proper quadriceps and hamstring strength ratio. For example, if you can lift 100 lbs with your quadriceps during knee extensions, you should be able to lift 70 lbs with your hamstrings during knee flexion. Thus a ratio of 70% is a goal. This provides the best strength and stability around the knee joint itself.
As far as biomechanical aspects go in regards to proper running technique during the phases of heel/foot strike and push off, any abnormalities may present themselves as an overuse injury often involving the knee, hip or back in runners. A thorough evaluation, possibly including a dynamic gait analysis may need to be performed, as orthotics may be needed to correct the abnormality present. This in turn will lead to proper force distribution while running and prevent the overuse injuries.
If you have an injury that is preventing you from doing your exercises, sport or any type of activity, please contact the PinnacleHealth Sports Medicine Center: www.pinnaclehealth.org/sportsmed