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THE JOY OF RUNNING Let’s clear up those myths!!

Watercolor running people

We all do things to unwind and some things for challenges. Love it or loathe it, running is probably one of the most versatile activities that can act as a solution to both categories. What we want to achieve in this second blog is to encourage novice runners to keep running and to guide our pros on how to improve, avoid injuries and to guide all runners on how to manage those niggling pains. However firstly we feel the need to clear up some of those common running myths backed up by some pretty robust evidence.

MYTH BUST 1 “Running will wear out my joints and cause arthritis” Low prevalence of hip and knee Arthritis in Active Marathon Runners (Ponzio et al 2018) Joint loading in runners does not initiate knee osteoarthritis (Miller R 2017) Running does not increase symptoms or structural progression in people with knee osteoarthritis: data from the osteoarthritis initiate (Lo GH et al 2018).


MYTH BUST 2 “Not stretching before or after running causes an injury” Post run stretching does not help with muscle recovery – Intensity / Duration of DOMS (Baxter 2017) Static Stretching before a run does not reduce a runner’s risk of sustaining injury (Shier & McHugh 2012).

MYTH BUST 3 “Wearing wrong shoe type causes injury” Lack of conclusive evidence to support the traditional method of choosing running shoe based on foot type/posture There is no evidence to support a specific running shoe. It is very much dependent on the individual (Malisoux et al 2016).

WHERE DO RUNNERS GO WRONG? Sudden changes to running volume, duration, intensity, frequency, gradient and surface all need to be considered causing one of the most common training errors. This is thought to be responsible for up to 60-70% of overuse injuries. Additionally lack of strength and conditioning training can mean muscle weakness, therefore reducing the loading ability and causing tissue overload. There needs to be variety in our training to help our tissue to adapt to what we expect it to do.

WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE MY CONDITION? Understanding the most likely cause to your area of discomfort is definitely a good start. This may involve keeping a diary of your training routine and noticing when your symptoms are most apparent i.e. during your run, the day after a hill run etc. However this may not answer your questions sufficiently enough to self-diagnose even after reverting to Dr Google…

The next option is to arrange an assessment with us which will involve sitting down with a chartered physiotherapist to take your symptom history, previous injuries or surgeries, past medical history, general health and lifestyle habits. The second part of the assessment will include a thorough physical assessment to include joint range of motion, functional movements, balance and a recorded slow motion video analysis. The idea behind the assessment is to allow both the physio and the patient to work through the assessment findings in order to help the patient understand where the possible root cause may lay. This will mean better engagement in your rehabilitation. Based on the findings, you will be offered advice about your running style and habits, information on managing painful tissues as well as coaching on running re-training / lifestyle habits. Furthermore a strength and conditioning programme will be offered for long term gains and possibly manual therapy if indicated. The ultimate key from this package is to inform you sufficiently enough to allow a self-management approach moving forward and to allow you reach you running goals.

Call us now at Tralee Physiotherapy Clinic to arrange your running assessment