Running is a favorite hobby of many and is a great way to keep yourself in shape as you age. While many people are able to keep up with this hobby with only minor aches and pains, some people develop serious injuries that slow their progress down and affect their daily lives. If you find yourself developing injuries from running, take a look at your gait. If you’re actively paying attention to the way you run and working on proper gait, you can cut your chance of injury in half.
Our physical therapists at RPT are experienced and ready to help you recover from this type of injury, however, our top priority is your health and preventing injuries. Take a minute to review the way you should be running so you can minimize the amount of injuries you experience as you run.
-Maintain a short, quick stride. Do not try to lengthen your stride; avoid reaching forward with your foot, which can lead to overstriding and will set you up for injury.
-Keep your knee in line. Make sure your foot strikes under your knee, not in front of it which also leads to overstriding and can lead to injury.
-Try not to “leap” to each foot when running. This causes an up and down motion called bounding, and can lead to excessive forces to cross your joints and predispose runners to injury.
-Watch your elbows. Keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees or less.
-Relax your hands. Keep hands loose and below your chest. Make sure your hands don’t cross your midline and your hands don’t push forward, both of these can throw off your gait.
-Work your core. When starting a running program, it is also a great time to start working on your core strength – particularly your glutes and abdominal muscles.
If these corrections do not help your pain while running, you will likely require a consultation with a Physical Therapist. Our therapists here at RPT are trained to label poor running mechanics during gait analysis (sometimes utilizing video analysis) and can structure an individualized plan to help you get back to running without pain! Schedule your consult today.