Running is a brilliant way to lose weight, keep active, and feel good about yourself. However, running is very complex. It’s one of the most complex movements for our bodies and perhaps even more complex than swimming. This is because lots of muscles are being used in your body, but you are also asking your skeleton and tendons to absorb a lot of force. When you run, your body feel up to 3 or 4 times your own body weight in force. Each step you take, you are asking your body to absorb a lot of pressure through the ankles, shins and knees. Here are some ways you can help to soothe your running pain.
There is a thin white layer of tissue that sits between your muscles and skin. This is called the plantar fascia and it’s a white strong tissue that keeps your muscles and skin aligned. This is so your muscles and skin can stretch and move together. Underneath your foot, there is a lot of thick plantar fascia and when it gets stiff, it can pull on your toes and achilles’ heel. A great way to solve this pain is to use a croquette or golf ball. Stand on the ball as best you can, and roll your foot over it. Hold for a few seconds in places where it hurts. This will compress and stretch the fascia layer. This allows the tendons and muscles to relax, heal and prevent them from getting stuck while covered in scar tissue.
Pain in knees and shins
A great way to improve the pain in your knees and shins is to improve your running style. Bend your legs a little more when your foot hits the ground. It’s simple but it works. Your weight will be absorbed better and your knees won’t be in as much pain. To protect your shins while running, make sure your foot is landing almost underneath you. This means that your weight will be centred and you prevent yourself from overstriding. Your gate will be smaller and you can place your feet with more precision. For both your knees and shins, use ice after each run. Icing your body after a run is very good for pain management but also, to prevent your muscles from cramping and pulling on your leg bones.
If you feel pain in your pelvis or hips, you’ll find that it could be a sign of a bigger problem. If you sit down all day long, your hips will be strained and your IT band will be feeling a little compressed. Speak with a Chiropractor who can align your hips and relieve pain. They can help with pelvic tilt, which is often the cause of uneven foot strikes. Speak to them about your knees and shins also, and they can align your ankles and knees so you have a more stable leg while running.
Foot pain is normal while running but it shouldn’t be debilitating. You can do these things to soothe the pain but it really lies in your running mechanics that will prove the real solution.