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Lauren's 6 Top Tips for Running Without Pain

Does running cause you pain? Running is an amazing exercise to get your heart pumping, lose weight, get outdoors in the fresh air and release those much-needed happy hormones.

However, whether your running 5 minutes on a treadmill or training outdoors for a marathon – it is vital you are doing it in the correct form. Here are some tips to take on board to prevent future injuries or back, hip, knee or foot pain.

1. Warm Up

It is important to warm up your muscles before going straight into a high-paced run to prevent ligament sprains or muscle strains.

Walk 3-5 minutes and do dynamic stretches such as lunges to get your legs warmed up prior to a run.

2. Shoes!

Arch supporting quality running trainers are vital. Shock absorbance is key so you’re not putting too much force through your joints when running, which can over time cause injuries or pain. Ground reaction forces can particularly put pressure through your hip and knee joints.

Different brands and types of shoes suit different people depending on how you run and the distance you run.

Visit a knowledgeable running shop where they can observe you running on a treadmill and advice accordingly.

body-alignment-in-running

3. Correct Running Form

Foot Striking Method

(Credit to www.posemethod.com)

It is really important how your feet strike the ground when running.

You should try not to land on your heel when you run as this puts unnatural force onto the heel and increased tension and force on the joints, leading to pain.

The best foot strike method is landing on your forefoot (toes and balls of your feet) then rolling onto your midfoot. This distributes the tension more equally around the foot and engages the muscles on the feet strengthening them, decreasing stresses on the body.

Run Tall!
Aim to keep your entire body in a straight line. Hold yourself upright, don’t bend at the waist. This means your hip muscles are functioning at the most optimal position, reducing pain and potential injury.

Eyes
Looking forward not down at the ground as this puts pressure on the upper spine.

Shoulders
Relaxed and not slouching. This puts less pressure on the chest allowing you to breathe deeper and easier and less tension on your upper back and shoulders which can lead to pain.

Arms Relaxed
Don’t hold an iPod or phone in one hand when running and listening to music as this leads to one arm moving and the other less. The asymmetry will put more pressure on your shoulders and back. Opt for an arm band for you music playing device.

Hips
Align your hips directly below the torso pointing straight ahead

Ankles
Lean forward at your ankles rather than your waist – it helps propel you forward more efficiently

4. Stretch

Static stretching should be done after a run not pre-run. Pre-run static stretching has been linked to injury.

Five minutes of stretching should always be done after a run to keep your muscles and ligaments mobile. The main focus areas for runners should be gluteus muscles, hamstrings and quadriceps together with stretching out your hips.

Every runner should own a foam roller! Slowly rolling on theses muscle groups will help break up muscle adhesions called trigger points and reduce muscle tightness that can develop after a run.

If you’re unsure on the best way to stretch these muscles speak to your chiropractor for advice!

5. Breathing

Breathing correctly can help release tension in your upper back and shoulders when running

Mouth vs. Nose - Breathing through the mouth rather than your nose relaxes the jaw, which decreases tension throughout your body

Chest vs. Stomach - Breathing heavily through your chest tightens muscles and increases tension in your neck, shoulders and back.

Pace your breathing using your stomach i.e. your diaphragm which allows the lungs to fully expand and allows lots of oxygen to be pumped round your body and muscle cells decreasing fatigue.

6. Chiropractic

If you’re a regular runner its important to get checked by us for any biomechanical distortions in the foot, leg or hip. Any misalignment that can be corrected will result in faster running speeds and increase in stamina. Regular adjustments keep you mobile and functioning at your best.

New to running? The main cause of pain is normally due to your posture and your gait (how you run through your feet). We also see runners with plantar fasciitis which is usually due to tight muscles which we can help with too. Coming to see us for a posture analysis is always worth it.

Book in for a postural and foot analysis with Lauren and see how we can get you running at your best!

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