According to Running USA, nearly 16 million Americans are runners. Each year, these runners — people like you — compete in thousands of races, logging seemingly endless miles on the road in preparation. Just as with any vehicle, all of this wear and tear eventually takes its toll on our bodies, resulting in major and minor injuries.
Urgent care services, with over 8,000 locations in the United States alone, commonly see many of these running injuries. As any of these urgent care facilities can tell you, many of the most common injuries runners experience can be avoided with proper amounts of rest and supplementary exercise. If you’re a road warrior, here’s how to prevent the most common injuries that could result from your dedication to self-improvement.
How to Avoid Three of the Most Common Running Injuries
- Shin Splints
- Muscle Pulls
- Lower Back Pain
Shin splints, as WebMD writes, are caused my muscle fatigue and micro-fractures of the bones in your lower legs. This is what causes that feeling of tiny little daggers cutting into your muscles with every step. By icing your shins after particularly stressful runs and buying your shoes from specialty running stores that can help you find the perfect shoe for your running style, you greatly reduce your chances of having to visit an advanced urgent care center.
Pulling a muscle can be one of the most painful, debilitating injuries any runner will ever experience, especially when you consider most runners pull a groin or leg muscle. For Men’s Fitness, one of the best ways to avoid pulling a muscle, and thereby avoid a visit with urgent care services, is to cross train. As the pros at urgent medical care centers will tell you, you shouldn’t just be running all the time. Biking, swimming, martial arts: a supplementary sport will strengthen muscles that better support you when you run, and that means less injury.
Ask urgent care services what the most troubling running injuries are and they’ll undoubtedly tell you lower back injuries. When we run, a lot of force is sent through our legs and into our back. If you have weak abdominal muscles, your running form will suffer, causing even more force to move directly into your back. That, as you might imagine, leads to more injuries. As Runner’s World writes, placing a focus on supplemental core workouts can help you strengthen your abdominal and lower back muscles, greatly reducing your chances of injuring those essential muscle groups.
Have you had to visit an urgent care facility due to a running injury? What things did you do to avoid the issue a second time? Let us know in the comments below! See this reference for more.