How to Run Safely and Reduce the Risk of Running Injuries

Runners running a raceDid you know running can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and death? It can also improve body composition and help with stress management and anxiety.

Maybe you’ve been hesitant to start a running program because you know runners dealing with serious injuries and chronic pain, or you’ve heard that running can cause joint damage. Running injuries are common, but most injuries are the result of training errors, or a lack of muscular strength or endurance specific to running.

Also, recent studies have shown that running can actually improve joint health. With appropriate mechanical loading, the stress of the articular surfaces can improve joint health if correctly modulated.

So what’s the biggest difference between a running program that causes injuries and a running program that delivers the health benefits we just mentioned?

The right guidance.

As I’ve discussed many times on this blog, most people at the gym just try to do what others are doing. Lift some weights. Do some cardio. Take a class. That unscientific approach is a recipe for serious injury.

Any exercise program should be customized for the individual based on their unique condition and goals by a qualified healthcare professional. Running is no different.

Here at Natural Healthcare Center, we’re extremely fortunate to have Dr. Claudia Tamas of West End Physical Therapy as a member of our team. Dr. Tamas is a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), and a Certified Running Injury Prevention Specialist. She’s uniquely qualified to help people start or return to running and recover from running-related injuries, regardless of age and running experience.

Dr. Tamas can explain in detail how to run in a way that actually improves joint health. She can help you reduce the risk of injury by designing a customized running protocol and making recommendations based on a detailed examination, running analysis and running shoe analysis. Runners under her care are periodically reassessed, and changes to running protocols are adjusted if necessary.

Dr. Tamas can also help you recover from injury. The most common running injuries involve the foot, knee, and lower back and pelvis. Just like every injury and condition treated at Natural Healthcare Center, we identify the root cause and target the affected structures with a science-based treatment plan.

Then Dr. Tamas will develop an individualized program that allows you to return to running. As tempting as it can be to get back quickly, this has to be a gradual process. Your program will be designed to progressively load and stimulate the muscles and joints in safe, healthy way to avoid re-injury.

Running is an easy exercise to enjoy. You don’t need a gym membership or expensive equipment, and you don’t have to go to a specific place to run. For kids, running is a great way to promote a healthy, active lifestyle at an early age instead of sitting in front of a TV or hunching over a smartphone.

Whether you’re a total beginner interested in running to stay fit, an experienced runner who wants to train for your first marathon, or you want to make sure your son or daughter is training safely, Dr. Tamas can help.

If you want to start or return to a running program this spring, now is the time to schedule an appointment. We encourage runners of any age and experience level to take advantage of these services so you can get as much enjoyment and benefit from running as possible.

 

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

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