“Into every life a little rain must fall.” In the case of training for a race, you might say, “Into every run, a little ache or pain might happen.”
Injuries are common for first time and less experienced runners. How do you know when it’s serious or something you can work through?
In week #10 of Getting in Gear with Josh and Erin, Essentia Sports Medicine physician Dr. Dan Ostlie gives our runners,Erin Mayer and Josh Thomas, advice on when to bring in the ice packs and when to tough it out and tells them about some common injuries they might face.
The top 5 questions to ask about running injuries -
1. When is it serious and when is it just soreness?
Ostlie says most of the time the aches and pains runners face are just a matter of bodies getting acclimated to their new activity. Muscle soreness is common and will last a couple of days. If the pain lasts more than a couple of days, keeps you up at night, or you have swelling or limping, see a doctor.
2. Who is most at risk?
If you’ve never run before or are carrying extra weight your knees will feel the pain. If you ease into training and/or lose some weight some of the pain should go away.
3. What should you do for pain?
Ostlie says he encourages runners to put ice on a sore or injured area for 20 minutes and take ibuprofen for the pain. He says heat is also fine for pain relief.
4. What is the most common injury runners face?
Ostlie says shin splints are common particularly among teenagers. Shin splints are a breakdown of the tissue along the inner lower leg bone. They cause a sharp pain on the inside part of the shin. In most cases you can work through shin splint pain. If it continues to hurt, doctors will look for stress fractures in the lower leg.
5. What is the best piece of advice doctors have to avoid injury?
Ostlie says injuries are most likely to happen when new runners try to do too much too soon. Don’t expect to roll off the couch and become a serious athlete. Ease into any activity.