Running Injuries: Can I train through?

Authored by Donna Withers – Physiotherapist @ Bureta

This is a common question we get asked. As a runner it is always our goal to be running one hundred percent pain free. Unfortunately in reality this is often not the case as many runners are constantly dealing with a niggle whether it be a slight pain in the knee to a tight calf or a niggling hamstring. These small niggles and aches often don’t bother us enough to need to take time out from running but do stop training from being enjoyable.

There are a wide range of running injuries that are common complaints amongst the running population. These range from severe injuries which require a lot of time off to mild aches that can come and go. You can reduce the risk of needing to take too much time off with how you go about managing your injury. Taking the time to seek treatment and getting a treatment plan that focuses on the causative and underlying factors and developing a long term management plan for prevention which often includes strengthening, stretching and regular maintenance through the use of a roller and massage can significantly reduce time off.

An example of a very common running injury is Patellofemoral Syndrome also known as “runners knee” this is the irritation of the cartilage on the underside of your knee cap. This is commonly seen in runners who don’t have good biomechanics with loading/running. This can be caused by a number of factors i.e. weakness of the quads, gluts, hips or poor foot control/overpronation (rolling in). By focusing on the correct strength exercises which improve biomechanics and therefore reduce the loading of your knee training can be continued by reducing intensity and cross training.

Prevention is always the key whether you have an injury or you are just looking to avoid one your physiotherapist at Bureta can assess your biomechanics and work with you to develop a management plan to keep you out on the track. See our previous blog on some tips for running injury prevention. Remember the best injury cure is injury prevention – happy running!!

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Core Strength and Back Pain

What is Core Stability?

This is a term which describes the firmness and stability of your trunk muscles. These are the muscles which wrap around your trunk like a cylinder or brace. They lie between your ribs and your hip bones just like the corsets worn in Victorian times.

The core or trunk muscles are the foundations of the body. The back, arms and the legs work much better if the trunk muscles are stable. When the trunk muscles are working together they support your body when walking, bending, lifting and even sitting upright and give you more energy.

Once working correctly they will also help protect the back from injury.

Why is Core Stability useful in the treatment of back pain?

Pain has been shown to turn muscles off. Pain encourages sufferers to adopt pain relieving positions but ultimately they add to the problem. This leads to recurrent low back pain. Improving core stability will help stop this pain or reduce it a lot and encourage better posture which will prevent further pain. Improving posture may reduce pain immediately. Improving core stability will reduce pain over time.

How can we help you?

We need to teach your muscles how to work again. This training is done one on one with your physiotherapist. Once the muscles are working correctly we can then give you a programme of exercises to improve your strength even further. These need to be monitored and are progressed as the muscles slowly strengthen and work together correctly. We also offer pilates classes and strength classes which incorporate core strength. Call us now to book into our classes. New times and more classes coming 2015…………. New schedule up on website in Jan

5 steps to get you that summer body you have always wanted.

Summer is here and now is the best time to take control of your life and get your body into the shape that you always wanted.  It generally takes a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks before you will notice results and even longer to reach long term physical goals. Here are some awesome steps that will help you get there:

1: Work out with weights.The right kind of weight training for women can be extremely beneficial for good health and for achieving your visible physical goals. Many people believe weight training does not burn calories, but this is untrue. Weight training, if done correctly, has been proven to burn more calories than most cardiovascular activities. Resistance training builds muscle tissue/ connective tissue, strengthening bones and improves vitality.

2: Eat more healthy meals a day in order to speed up your metabolism you must eat less and eat more often. 3 big meals a day is not going to help you lose weight. 6 smaller meals of healthy food is going to get you just that bit closer to achieving your goal. Remember that this is 6 healthy meals. A lot of people don’t realize that about 70% of weight loss is in your diet.

3. Drink more water. Ditch those sodas and start drinking more water. We all know that sugar drinks go straight to the hips but so can the diet drinks as well. Diet drinks can make your body produce extra insulin which can in turn make you put weight on. In addition to flushing out the toxins out of your system, drinking water encourages you to build muscle. The average person should drink 6 – 8 glasses of water a day and more when you are training. It is advised that you drink room temperate water as it absorbs much quicker into the system. Especially when training and in turn it should avoid you bloating and have it sitting in your stomach.

4. The correct cardio training. Doing the correct cardio training is extremely important. A good balance of exercises is also needed to avoid the body from reaching a plateau. Mix it up with running, cycling, swimming and even a variety of sports. Also make sure you mix it up with interval training and not just the same repetitive motion. Jog or walk for a while and then sprint for a period of time. You need to constantly shock your system.

5. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol can be one thing that if had to excess can ruin all of your great eating and training. A lot of our clients don’t realize how high in calories alcohol is by itself not to mention how bad some of the mixers can be for you. Then what do you do when you wake up the next day? I know that the first thing I feel like doing after having a couple drinks the night before is call up the nearest burger place and eating the fattest burger there. Because your body is trying to break down the calories from the alcohol, this burger will pretty much store straight in the body as fat. So if you do feel the need to drink, make sure that the next days food intake is extremely healthy.

These are 5 easy steps that if all done correctly will help you get into shape for summer. None of these should be overlooked. If you are going to have a go, make it a good one. Good Luck.

Think Optimistically About Injury

We regularly get clients in the clinic frustrated or disappointed with injury, which is an entirely natural and understandable response. However if we think of it optimistically then the majority of the time the injury has come about from being active. In a population that is constantly being told that obesity, heart disease, diabetes etc is rising – then being active is a great thing. I always tell clients that if we were never meant to get injured, then we wouldn’t be good at healing. Our bodies are dynamic and will adapt to stimulus under the right load – Physiotherapist are excellent at telling you when to load and what to do to give you the optimal environment to get better.

(recent news article from New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists President in response to ACC article discussing the increase in costs of injuries from dancing and skateboarding in the Sunday Star Times)

Focus on the fun of physical activity and the positive effects to your health, not the risks say physiotherapists. “Let’s celebrate our active population,” suggests Jonathan Warren, President of the New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists. “Isn’t it wonderful that so many more New Zealanders are getting into dancing, skateboarding, jogging, fitness training, weightlifting and tennis? We’re missing the point altogether if we highlight only the risks and costs of injuries and not the importance of fitness and the potential health dollar savings related to this.

“The truly unsustainable costs – to individual health and to the health system – arise from inactivity,” Mr Warren commented in response to reported increases in injury claims resulting from these activities. “I can’t emphasise enough how important it is for all New Zealanders to be active. We should all take sensible precautions to reduce injuries, but we should not let the fear or cost of injuries put us off being active. In New Zealand we have a highly competent physiotherapy workforce to promote and support active lifestyles.

“I agree with the Dancing With The Stars contestant who said it’s awesome so many people are giving it a go instead of just watching.”

Physiotherapists advise people to take some basic precautions when starting a new activity:

Go to a teacher or trainer qualified in your activity. Ask about experience and credentials.
Start slowly and learn the basics. Extend the scope of your activity gradually.
Warm up first – cold muscles, tendons and ligaments are more vulnerable to injury.
Avoid putting pressure on areas of your body you know cause you problems. If you’re unsure, ask a health professional such as a physiotherapist.
If you have a serious medical condition, consult an appropriate health professional about how best to start your chosen activity.
“It’s ironic that in the same month that stomach stapling is promoted as a saving to the health dollar, an increase in participation in dancing is viewed negatively. Keep active and have fun, for your health’s sake,” Mr Warren says.Heath