Three Common Mistakes Runners Make In Injury Rehabilitation

One of the most excruciating parts of being injured often isn’t the pain itself; it’s the limitation of not being able to do the things you love. As runners, we are champions of endurance and of transcending the limits of what the body can do.

We are primed to go further and run harder through rain or shine. Although, when it comes to injury, this isn’t always the healthiest approach. Here are three common mistakes to avoid in the rehabilitation process to ensure longevity and a healthy recovery.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, about sixty percent of runners confront injuries that are severe enough to put them on the sidelines. Running injuries are generally on a spectrum. Aches and pains, sore muscles, and fatigued joints often come with the territory, leaving many runners to wonder when it’s time to seek professional help. Acute injuries are the most obvious case. This category includes those sudden injuries such as broken bones and sprains resulting in immediate swelling, ongoing pain, and impaired mobility of the injured body part.

Chronic injuries, also recognized as overuse injuries can be a bit trickier to gauge. These pains are caused by contributing forces that wreak havoc on the body over repeated activity and prolonged periods of time. Risk factors can include the type of terrain you’ve been running on, the quality and support of the shoes you wear, and the level of training you’ve completed (yes, there is such thing as overtraining). Other contributing factors can include improper form and changes in both strength and flexibility.

What Are Common Running Injuries?

Shin splints are a common and incredibly painful ‘side effect’ of wear and tear. When the muscles and tendons covering the shinbones become inflamed, runners will experience a stabbing pain that often extends from the knees to the ankles. Runners with tight calf muscles may also become vulnerable to Achilles Tendinitis, causing the Achilles to swell. Of course, the most obvious of runner’s injuries would have to be ‘Runners Knee.’ More formally known as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), Runners Knee causes a great deal of pain around the kneecap. Some runners may even hear an alarming popping sound as they continue to move through the pain. There a range of vulnerabilities we may face as runners, but the benefits far outweigh the risks. The key is to approach prevention and rehabilitation smarter.

1. Running Through Injury

We get it, no pain, no gain, but in the process of rehabilitation, this attitude is quite counterintuitive. While some injuries may get better and feel less painful as you keep going, you have to be mindful of your long-term well-being. According to Runner’s World, there is a fine line between a ‘niggle’ and a full-blown injury.  Generally, if the ache keeps you up at night or begins to interfere with your day-to-day life, this can be the sign of a larger issue at hand (or foot or knee). If you have had at least two weeks of rest and the trusty old RICE method, (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), and the problem persists, it may be time to see a physiotherapist.

2. Neglecting the Root Cause

We’ve all fallen privy to the dark hole of WebMD and Google searches. There is a lot of information available to us, but when it comes down to it, each of our bodies are different. While a fancy name like Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome can bring some clarity to your situation, it won’t necessarily keep the issue from happening again in the future. Our bodies are complex systems and the intricacies of our biomechanics hold the greatest insight into the reason why an issue happened in the first place. Visiting a physiotherapist can help you to delve into the root cause of injury and derive personalized insights that no Google search can achieve.

3. Thinking Subjectively

There is no “one size fits all” solution to injury. It’s a complex process that requires an objective approach and path to recovery. This is where many runners are behind, as they lack the tools and objective insights to make the right choices for their bodies. This is where dorsaVi comes in.

DorsaVi is a motion sensory wearable that is a cost-effective and objective solution to rehabilitation. The wearable delivers lab-quality data, combining complex algorithms with biomechanical instruments and different sensors that measure both muscle activity and body movement. DorsaVi’s Professional Suite captures movement analytics from three core modules, Low Back, Run, and Knee to identify injury risk and guide proper rehabilitation.

“The dorsaVi wearable sensor solutions allow many aspects of detailed human movement and position to be acutely captured, quantified, with the same level of accuracy as a biomechanics lab – but with the benefit of it being simple to use, low cost and accessible for use in real situations in real-time,” says Megan Connell, Chief Marketing Officer at dorsaVi.

When it comes to injury, objectivity is the smartest of all medicines. By listening to your body, learning more about it, and taking the introspective route, your road to recovery will put you right back on your feet.