Let’s be honest. Most of us hate running, especially as a hobby! The sweat, the commitment, the pain! But – a little increase in heart rate can do a body good; help increase blood flow and create new blood cells. All you need is a few minutes a day no matter the speed. Easy, right?
I know what you’re thinking, how do you avoid the pain of running. The cramps, the tight muscles, and more! Our very own, Dr. Kevin Stone, a San Francisco-based orthopedic surgeon, says you shouldn’t ignore that pain. Recently he did an article with Good Morning America and wrote, “Pain is a red flag, telling you you’re doing something wrong to your joint or to your muscles,” he told “GMA.” “Running through pain is causing damage.” So how do you not be in pain you ask? Below he provides a few easy-to-learn solutions to create a painless routine for better health.
1. Shorten your stride, increase your cadence. Dr. Stone states that “When you land on your toe on a shorter stride, you have the time to absorb force through your arch and push off, when you lengthen your stride out, you’re landing hard and quickly…you’re no longer absorbing through your arch.”
2. Diversify surface. Running strictly on one surface can cause injury. Dr stone suggests that running on trails, sand, sidewalks and grass and even run barefoot occasionally on grass or the beach can help improve can help prevent injury. “It strengthens the small muscles in the foot and improves the ability of the foot to absorb force when you land,” He states.
3. Be a detective about what is causing pain. Dr. Stone says you have to determine if you are doing something wrong in your technique or your gear isn’t right or if there is something structurally wrong. An orthopedist, a gait analysis or a running coach could help with that.
4. Run uphill, walk downhill. More of the strain is placed on the muscles of the leg and less force is applied to the joint itself. Conversely, running downhill puts a tremendous amount of force on joints so walking down is necessary to protect the joint. Dr. Stone advises “Run up the ski hill and take the chairlift down.”
5. Relearn how to stretch. As we get older and the more tension we put on our limbs, the less limber we become. By stretching, it allows for full range of motion. Dr.Stone explains that when our soft tissues lock up we use a smaller percentage of our joint’s full range of motion and put more wear and tear on its usable surfaces. So while we know we need to stretch, it’s not what it used to be. Dr. Stone recommends a stretching coach. This can be a massage therapist, physical therapist or even a one-on-one session with a yoga teacher.
6. Get off the treadmill. If you are experiencing pain while running on the treadmill, Dr. Stone says to get off, take out the earbuds and tune into your body. Running should be a mental release as well as a physical release and treadmill running while watching TV can disassociate the body from the mind.
7. Seek support. Muscular strength, good posture and hydrated bodies also contribute to pain-free bodies, according to Dr.Stone. You can easily seek support through the AccessElite mobile application. You can easily book with a range of specialists that can help injury as well as prevent it.
Have more questions or want to speak to a specialist on ways to improve? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.