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Running on Pain

By Sara Butler

If you’re an avid runner, then you know there’s no stopping you in winter. Spring is right around the corner with your next marathon, triathlon, or half-marathon to train for! When you’re in the midst of training for a big race, you will notice some aches and pains along the way. But how do you know when the pain you’re experiencing is normal for pushing your body during training and when it’s an injury? Here are a few guidelines you can use to know the difference between what normal and abnormal pain is when you’re training, and how your chiropractor can help.

A Balancing Act

When you exercisem there’s something you have to find no matter what if you want to train right: A balance between work and rest. When you are pushing the limits of your body you have to give it adequate time to recover. If you put too much stress on your muscles, then you will be doing damage to them that can lead to bigger – and more lasting – damage.

What can happen if you don’t let your body rest enough? You can experience:

  • Burnout on training
  • Muscle strains
  • Stress fractures
  • Meniscus tears

Running involves repetitive movements, and when you put your body through the same motions constantly, you are increasing your risk of an injury.

Know the Symptoms

How can you distinguish between the normal aches and pains of training and a serious injury? Well, these pain levels can help. You need to familiarize yourself with the difference between mild pain, moderate pain, and severe pain. The severity doesn’t necessarily mean how much it hurts, but when the pain starts, how long it generally lasts and whether it goes away after you begin resting.

  • Mild pain – When you have a mild injury, you may feel it when you are preparing to run and for a few hours after you are finished. When this happens, treat it with ice but remember to bring it up to your chiropractor at your next adjustment.
  • Moderate pain – You will notice this type of pain when you’re preparing to run but also while you’re running. If you notice localized pain for a few hours after you’re done running, you need to stop training and see your chiropractor right away. This is a signal your body is moving from a mild injury to a moderate one, so you’ll need to pull back and let your body heal.
  • Serious pain – This pain is often experienced during the run to such an intense level you have to modify your form in order to tolerate it. If this sounds familiar, stop what you’re doing and get in to see your chiropractor at The Joint immediately!

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