Running is one of the most accessible and simplest forms of exercise. It can be done indoors or outdoors, alone or with others, and in nearly any weather. Perhaps the biggest downside to running, however, is the wear and tear it deals to the joints. Especially when running on rough terrain or across elevation changes, running is a very high-impact workout. The benefits of running are numerous, but it is vital for your long-term joint health to take steps to protect your joints while running.
Most Common Running Injuries
Running puts pressure and impact on many parts of the body, but especially the hip, knee and ankle joints, and the feet. This is why the most common running injuries are in these areas. Some of the most common injuries include Runner’s Knee (Iliotobal Band Syndrome), Knee Tendinitis or Bursitis, Shin Splints, Stress Fractures and Achilles Tendon Contracture.
How To Protect Your Joints
Maintain A Healthy Weight
One of the most effective ways to protect your joints not only while running, but in your day-to-day life, is to maintain a healthy weight. Running may help you do this, but also make sure you are paying attention to your other lifestyle choices, and your diet.
Wear The Right Shoes
Make sure that your running shoes fit properly, and are new enough to give you the support and traction you need. Older running shoes may be comfortable or softer, but that does not mean that they are doing their job. Check both the sole and the insole to make sure the shoes are in proper shape.
Warm Up/Cool Down
Make sure that you are warming up and cooling down before and after your runs. Breaking right into a run is a recipe for not only joint injuries, but muscle injuries as well.
Diversify Your Exercise
A great way to build strength and stamina in your legs and joints is to supplement running with other workouts, such as lifting, yoga, or even simply squats and lunges.
Your Best Quality Of Life
NY Bone & Joint Specialists are experts in Orthopedic Surgery, Arthroscopic Surgery and Sports Medicine. Led by top-rated orthopedic surgeon Leon E. Popovitz, MD, our experienced team of orthopedic doctors and specialists are among the very best in New York City and New Jersey. Our practice has one goal: a better quality of life for our patients.