How can you get back into running after an injury?
Last update: 7 March 2021
Runners commonly experience sports injuries. It is estimated that more than 50% of them will suffer at least one injury while running.
Poor preparation, inappropriate shoes, violent impacts, inadequate technique… There is no shortage of reasons why running enthusiasts can struggle with an injury that causes pain in their feet!
The majority of sports injuries treated by podiatrists are caused by overloading the feet. Some of the most common complaints from runners include:
- Sprained ankle;
- Achilles tendinitis;
- Plantar fasciitis;
- Heel spur;
- Stress fracture;
- Iliotibial band syndrome.
Fortunately, there are ways to get you back on your feet after an injury and, most importantly, minimize the risk of recurrence.
1. Consult a podiatrist immediately after your injury
Some runners that experience pain in their feet think it will go away on its own. Alas, without proper follow-up care from a podiatrist, a foot injury can deteriorate. Therefore, it is crucial to consult a professional and tend to your injury in a timely manner.
The podiatrist will apply various techniques to help you run again, pain-free:
- Biomechanical exam: this examination allows for an accurate diagnosis of your condition. Specifically, the podiatrist will assess your foot both in motion and at rest, in order to understand its dynamics and morphology. This makes treating your foot injury much easier.
- Manual foot therapy: through a series of precise movements, the podiatrist will help your feet regain their mobility. You will thus benefit from optimal biomechanics when running!
- Custom foot orthoses: in certain cases, it is necessary to wear custom insoles adapted for sports.
- Foot care: this includes the treatment of sore or deformed nails, corns, and calluses.
- Foot surgery: some foot injuries require podiatric surgery for full treatment. There are different types of surgery depending on your situation.
The podiatrist will be able to treat your foot pain and give you good advice on the right time to start running again after an injury.
2. Find other athletic activities during your recovery
You don’t have to give up sports altogether even if you must take a break from running to recover.
In fact, you can engage in impact-free physical activities, such as cycling or swimming. This will keep you in shape without compromising your treatment.
3. Opt for a gradual return to running after an injury
Once your podiatrist has given you the green light, you can resume running. But be careful. You need to do this gradually to ensure that the injury does not recur.
- Take breaks;
- Alternate between walking and running;
- Avoid inclines or rough terrain;
- Run short distances.
Getting back into running after an injury means taking care of your joints. To this end, you must increase the pace very gradually and regularly check in with your podiatrist.
4. Get the right footwear for running
Before you start running again, verify that your running shoes are suitable, sturdy, durable and comfortable. They need to withstand impact in order to effectively protect your joints.
Finally, your shoes must be perfectly adapted to the shape of your foot.
5. Take the time to stretch before and after you run
Stretching exercises are essential for avoiding the recurrence of injuries while you run. They warm up your joints and give you more flexibility when running.
Depending on the case, you may require some specific stretches. If necessary, the podiatrist can suggest the right stretching exercises for you.
PiedReseau is here to help you make an efficient gradual return to running
PiedReseau brings together more than 40 podiatry clinics across the province to help you get back into running after an injury.
Contact our team of podiatrists to benefit from treatment tailored to your needs.