Helen Tremblay, Physiotherapist
The Running Clinic
Last time, we covered some myths about how running injuries occur, and a few about the things we do to prevent them. If running is going to be a part of your 2016, make sure you’re running smart!
Again, ‘running smart’ means making sure you don’t run injured, and don’t run right into injury. So, let’s explore some more commonly held misconceptions about running injuries, and get myth-bustin’!!!
6th Myth: Orthotics solve your injury problems
It’s widely (and wrongly) believed that orthotics prevent and treat overuse injuries by adjusting and correcting abnormal running mechanics.
Studies are inconclusive as to the effectiveness of orthotics, and the types of orthotics that are most effective. The best way to treat an overuse injury is to stop using it, and to readdress your training programme
7th Myth: Stretching is THE BEST thing you can do to stay safe…
We’ve heard it over and over again… don’t exercise with tight muscles. And so, many of us have built in a vigorous stretching routine into our practice in order to decrease injuries and post-exercises muscle soreness.
We might not want to believe it, but some studies show that static stretching before running may actually increase injury risk. The same studies show that stretching done in independent sessions (i.e. completely separate from a run) have a correlation with improved speed.
8th Myth: By running, we’re ‘running up’ a debt… we’re going to pay for all this health later!
You’ve heard it said that “running is actually bad for you”. Part of what people mean, here, and mean to have you believe, is that running damages joints, and increases the long term risks, in runners, of developing arthritis.
In reality, there are no studies to suggest runners are more at risk of arthritis (which, we should note, appears with equal frequency in runners and non-runners alike).
9th Myth: Take a pill!
We’ve all done it: come back from a run and take a mild painkiller to soothe the burn, and it makes us feel better! And so, we tend to believe that taking anti-inflammatories (Ibuprofen, for example) help us control inflammation.
Muscle inflammation is a natural process. It is what’s happening when we ‘feel the burn’. As such, anti-inflammatory drugs interfere with the muscles’ normal healing, and may make tissue more vulnerable to damage in the medium term.
10th Myth: Hydrate till it hurts…right?
You absolutely have to drink on a schedule, thirsty or not, in order to avoid heat stroke during an event or training session, and in order to ‘stay ahead’ of dehydration.
Remember this: you get thirsty for a reason. One of the causes of serious complications in endurance sports is a drastic change in the ratio of water to sodium in the body caused by increased fluid intake. Your body keeps a natural balance, and is your body is generally very good at telling you when to drink, via its thirst mechanism.
Safe, Happy, and Informed running to you all!
Helen (& the KOPC Team)