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Joint injuries from running

Tips, tricks, workouts, injury advice.
 

Postby Sarah Simon » Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:41 pm

Mark,

To echo a notion already expressed here: Running is not the best workout for all of us.

I joke with hiking partners, but it's true: I'm the descendent of women built to pull plows in Bavaria, not built to move fast.

Running for fitness is simply not an option for me. While I still played soccer (I quit shortly after turning 30, which I consider a prudent age to lay off this wonderful but joint-thrashing sport) I tried to run to build up my speed and endurance. All I ended up doing was suffering knee pain and developing achilles tendonitis. I soon spent more time in physical therapy than I did running or playing soccer. I had a ortho look me in the eye and say: If you want to remain active into your 40s and beyond, you'll stop running.

So, I'm not one to discourage anyone from taking their fitness to the next level. I think it's great that you've got the drive and discipline to stick to a running regimine. I just want you to consider that maybe running is not the right fitness activity for you.

For comparison/ideas, my fitness regimine is based on heading to the mountains each weekend, briskly walking our dogs 1.5 miles several days a week, yoga and core strengthening. That's it. I'm 35 years old, I can eat whatever and as much as I please and not gain an ounce, and I'd be surprised if anyone on this site who's summitted peaks with me would say I'm slow or out of shape. No running, no suffering, no joint pain.

Take good care of your body, keep up the drive & ambition and MOST IMPORTANTLY: Have fun!

Cheers!

Sarah
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Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:52 pm

FWIW my friend Colin Haley does not run, he claims it hurts his knees, and he is a very fast climber. I think he rides his bike a bit but mostly just climbs all the time.
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Postby John Duffield » Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:38 pm

I took up running in December and am delighted with the results.

I'd been doing Yoga and cycling primarily. I think running is boring to the point of mind-numbing, but it only takes me an hour of running to have the "knackered" feeling of 4 or 5 hours on the bike. Given my schedule, it can be the choice between a good workout and a great one.

That said, I think the Yoga and cycling prepped me to run in the 20 mile a week range right away so it wasn't a waste of time, simply a step along the way.

This past weekend, we took the kids hiking to a mountain we'd done many times before. Afterwards everyone retreated to their bags to rest and get dry except me. I climbed the next mountain. I'd never done that before. My endurance is way better.

As a caution, many of my friends (I'm 60) have problems from injuries they sustained in their teens. You want to be careful here. You're not fully developed.

In the last issue of my Running Clubs magazine, they had an interview with a woman in either her late 70's or early 80's. A really old runner w many Marathons behind her. She said "Never ever run on concrete. Wrecks your joints, bones, ligaments etc." If anybody would know, she would. I was wondering if that would apply to any pavement and decided that would be splitting hairs.

Try not to run on pavement.
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Postby Haliku » Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:55 pm

Supposedly concrete is 10X harder than asphalt to run on. Dirt/gravel is the best.

John Duffield wrote:In the last issue of my Running Clubs magazine, they had an interview with a woman in either her late 70's or early 80's. A really old runner w many Marathons behind her. She said "Never ever run on concrete. Wrecks your joints, bones, ligaments etc." If anybody would know, she would. I was wondering if that would apply to any pavement and decided that would be splitting hairs.

Try not to run on pavement.
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Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:00 pm

I agree. I do the vast majority of my mileage on trails in the mountains where I live. I run on pavement less than 20 miles a week nowadays.
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Re: Joint injuries from running

Postby CClaude » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:57 pm

dustyass wrote:
Mark Straub wrote:I freaking get injured all the freaking time from running. I don't know why- I just do. I wear orthotics, go to the school trainer whenever I get hurt, but it still happens. And it's not just one thing- my list this season (1 month) includes, but is not limited to:

-Shin splints
-Achilles tendon pain in left ankle
-Tendonitis in right ankle
-Sprained right foot
-Knee trouble
-Hip pain

Why? Climbing certainly doesn't degrade me like this (hiking sometimes, but not so bad as running)?

Also check around. Our local hospital does free athletic analysis to identify running/gait defects (ie: pronation or supernation) along with joint stability. They only do it once a month though.

I don't even run that far, just like 35 miles a week.

-Mark

Have you ever had your running gait and foot/ankle pronation observed at a running specialty store, not at a Footlocker or Sports Authority, but at a place that specializes in only running? It is possible that even with your orthotics your foot may require a different type of shoe depending on your pronation. There are neutral, motion control, and stability shoes and they are all catered to people with different foot/ankle pronation. When you get hooked up with the right shoe perhaps many of these injuries will subside.
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Postby Mark Straub » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:06 am

Thanks everybody for all your help and advice. One of the reasons I run is because I'm on the crosscountry team and have been for 2 1/2 years, so I can't quit now. I think the main reason I get so injured would be because I work hard and we run almost entirely on concrete. Thanks for the heads up about getting injured- I'll stay away from it twice as hard now.

I can't give up running though, I don't like it, but I have committed to a sport and I will finish it out. And much as I don't like it, it does make me a lot stronger for climbing, especially since I am lucky to get out one day a week, lacking a car and established partners.

I got my shoes last year from a running-specific store, and my shoes this year from Sports Authority. I have been getting injured this year much less than last year, my new shoes are better and more durable. My orthotics are because I am flatfooted, and they help quite a bit. (interesting note: I have no insoles in my mountaineering boots, and that is fine, but I can't even walk around hills in sneakers without orthotics or I will hurt myself.)

I only have 2 races to go I think, possibly 3. I will quit the harsh running at the end of this month. By the way, I run about 5 or 6 days a week, 5-7 miles a day, almost all on concrete, because that's what we've got around here.

I think I should start doing my easy crossfit exercises again, they hurt a lot (muscles working hard) and they are over much before even running is for the same amount of tiredness afterwards.
-Mark
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Re: Joint injuries from running

Postby John Duffield » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:22 pm

I thought of this during my own run last night. A 16 year old running 35 miles a week will either achieve greatness at something or spend a life with arthritis. Maybe both. Given the high stakes I agree with:

dustyass wrote:Have you ever had your running gait and foot/ankle pronation observed at a running specialty store, not at a Footlocker or Sports Authority, but at a place that specializes in only running? It is possible that even with your orthotics your foot may require a different type of shoe depending on your pronation. There are neutral, motion control, and stability shoes and they are all catered to people with different foot/ankle pronation. When you get hooked up with the right shoe perhaps many of these injuries will subside.


I feel much better hearing that asphalt is much less worse than concrete since I run my races on it.

In NYC The HSS (below) has programs that analyzes everything you do and the way you do it.

Here are some of their tips for runners. You probably are aware of most of them but are you aware of running back on the same side of the street? Icing the area down? Apologies for the loopy way it copied.

HOSPITAL
FOR
SPECIAL
SURGERY

Tips for Preventing Running Injuries

The Spotts Rehabilitation and Peformance team at Hospitalfor Special Surgery has some
tips to help get you through training while minimizing injury risk.

1. Warm up to avoid stretching a cold muscle. The best time to stretch a muscle is when it is warm. Begin with a light activity (light jog, or fast walk) and when you begin to sweat it is time to stretch. Stretching is important to keep the muscle elongated and somewhat flexible. Hold your stretches 20 to 30 seconds and repeat 3 to 5 times. NO Bouncingl

Drink enough water, To prevent possible dehydration make sure you're drinking before,
during, and after your run.

When going out for a run be sure to run back on the same side of the street that you
went out on. The road is sloped, and this helps evenly distribute the stress to your leg joints and prevents one side from getting overloaded.

The insoles of your sneakers are the cheapest thing in your sneakers. Replace them very
shortly after purchase, or get a pair of good quality insoles when you buy your sneakers.
Last years sneakers might feel nice when you're walking in them, but are they supporting your feet when you run? Make sure to replace your sneakers at least every running season and more specific every 300 to 500 miles.

Increase your mileage gradually. A good rule of thumb is to increase your weekly mileage
by 10 - 20 o/o per week. For example, if you are currently running 20 miles per week, increase your weekly mileage by no more than 2-4 miles the next week.

Make sure you incorporate rest days. You should take off at least one day per week to
allow recovery. Also try to alternate heavy training days (longer miles or greater intensity) with light days.

Incorporate cross training into your routine. Adding a bike or swim workout helps to
reduce the repetitive stress of running. Cross training and strength training will work some of the muscles you don't use while running and can help prevent muscle imbalances, which often lead to injury.

Don't forget to add a strengthening component of hip and knee muscles your
training circuit.

If your feeling pain after your run, make certain that you ice the area down, and if
after resting the area pain still persists seek medical attention.

SPORTS REHABITITATION AND PERFORMANCE CENTER

525 East 71st Street, New York, N.Y. 10021 TEL: (2 2) 606- 1005
www. HSS Performonce. com
Last edited by John Duffield on Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby foweyman » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:56 pm

Mark, Unfortunately it is impossible to give a specific diagnosis without seeing your running mechanics. Diagnosing and offering suggestions based on the general type of injury without seeing you run and getting specific feedback from you about your injuries is a guessing game. For example, overstriding is a common fault among young runners that can cause several injuries, but without seeing you run, we have no way of knowing if that is part of your problem. Constant running on a hard surface could also be contributing to your problems but it may also have nothing at all to do with them. Shoes are another aspect that may or may not be contributing. I recommend getting a thorough examination from an experienced professional (Dr. physical therapist, coach, athletic trainer) with specific expertise in running injuries.
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Postby ksolem » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:27 pm

This is worth a serious look. I quit running years ago due to injuries, but I am going to try it again along this guys lines...

http://www.chirunning.com/shop/home.php
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Running injuries

Postby Ozclimb » Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:56 am

Hello there, as someone who has suffered ongoing knee injuries for the last 4 years during running I can honestly say that the 1st thing you need to fix or at least have looked at is your back!.......my 1st problem was that my lower back was weak and therefor throwing me out a bit.

I put my house on it that your hip flexor muscles are weak combined with stiff ITB (iliotibial band) which both need to be strengthened and stretched respectively. This will relieve strain/pressure of the knees. If these to are weak they will fatigue quickly and the knee has to take up the slack therefor causing pain.

Of course this only relates to my injury/experience where I had swelling pain in the knee, not sure if that is what you are experiencing???

As for ankle shin injuries....cant help you there sorry.

I am not a doc or physio but I have had my fair share of running injuries which i have now overcome :D

Good luck,
Andy
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Postby Chris » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:47 am

Mountain Impulse wrote:Then there is the barefoot running school which claims elimination or minimization of injuries.


I run up to 120 miles a week (average about 60 mi/wk through the entire year). I run 50 and 100 mile mountain ultras and haven't been injured in a couple years. My running style sucks by all accounts and I'm 210lbs. I should be a model of who shouldn't run. All of my injures (ITBS, PF, runner's knee, Tib Anterior tendonitis, achilles tendonitis) ceased when I started barefoot running 1-2 days a week about two years ago.

Could just be a coincidence... but doesn't seem like it. I only do a very very small percentage of my mileage barefoot (less than 5% probably) but even that little amount has made HUGE difference.
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Postby John Duffield » Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:08 pm

The barefoot running would be on a treadmill?

At the gyms in Thailand they required me to run barefoot on the treads. I didn't do enough of it to notice the difference but I think I'll try it here.

Mark says he's running almost exclusively on concrete. Might be a big part of the problem right there.
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Re: Joint injuries from running

Postby Mark Straub » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:45 am

John Duffield wrote:I thought of this during my own run last night. A 16 year old running 35 miles a week will either achieve greatness at something or spend a life with arthritis. Maybe both. Given the high stakes I agree with:

dustyass wrote:Have you ever had your running gait and foot/ankle pronation observed at a running specialty store, not at a Footlocker or Sports Authority, but at a place that specializes in only running? It is possible that even with your orthotics your foot may require a different type of shoe depending on your pronation. There are neutral, motion control, and stability shoes and they are all catered to people with different foot/ankle pronation. When you get hooked up with the right shoe perhaps many of these injuries will subside.


I feel much better hearing that asphalt is much less worse than concrete since I run my races on it.

In NYC The HSS (below) has programs that analyzes everything you do and the way you do it.

Here are some of their tips for runners. You probably are aware of most of them but are you aware of running back on the same side of the street? Icing the area down? Apologies for the loopy way it copied.

HOSPITAL
FOR
SPECIAL
SURGERY

Tips for Preventing Running Injuries

The Spotts Rehabilitation and Peformance team at Hospitalfor Special Surgery has some
tips to help get you through training while minimizing injury risk.

1. Warm up to avoid stretching a cold muscle. The best time to stretch a muscle is when it is warm. Begin with a light activity (light jog, or fast walk) and when you begin to sweat it is time to stretch. Stretching is important to keep the muscle elongated and somewhat flexible. Hold your stretches 20 to 30 seconds and repeat 3 to 5 times. NO Bouncingl

Drink enough water, To prevent possible dehydration make sure you're drinking before,
during, and after your run.

When going out for a run be sure to run back on the same side of the street that you
went out on. The road is sloped, and this helps evenly distribute the stress to your leg joints and prevents one side from getting overloaded.

The insoles of your sneakers are the cheapest thing in your sneakers. Replace them very
shortly after purchase, or get a pair of good quality insoles when you buy your sneakers.
Last years sneakers might feel nice when you're walking in them, but are they supporting your feet when you run? Make sure to replace your sneakers at least every running season and more specific every 300 to 500 miles.

Increase your mileage gradually. A good rule of thumb is to increase your weekly mileage
by 10 - 20 o/o per week. For example, if you are currently running 20 miles per week, increase your weekly mileage by no more than 2-4 miles the next week.

Make sure you incorporate rest days. You should take off at least one day per week to
allow recovery. Also try to alternate heavy training days (longer miles or greater intensity) with light days.

Incorporate cross training into your routine. Adding a bike or swim workout helps to
reduce the repetitive stress of running. Cross training and strength training will work some of the muscles you don't use while running and can help prevent muscle imbalances, which often lead to injury.

Don't forget to add a strengthening component of hip and knee muscles your
training circuit.

If your feeling pain after your run, make certain that you ice the area down, and if
after resting the area pain still persists seek medical attention.

SPORTS REHABITITATION AND PERFORMANCE CENTER

525 East 71st Street, New York, N.Y. 10021 TEL: (2 2) 606- 1005
www. HSS Performonce. com


Thanks for the help. I actually do ALL of these! I think the problem is mostly the hard surfaces I run on, that's part of living in the suburbs I guess.

Running barefoot is an interesting concept...but I don't think it would work where I live. It's all roads by my house, no sidewalk or trails. Broken glass and stuff litter the roads. Thanks for the suggestion though.

I've been taking it a little easier, maybe that will help. I have also noticed cooldown runs at the end of practice make a big difference in my recovery, and therefore less injuries. I've been doing them every day now. Since I went on soft surfaces (we have one place by my school) on Thursday and I'm taking today off, my joints are feeling a lot better.

-Mark

-Mark
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Postby Mark Straub » Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:52 am

After running hard (8 miles yesterday, 5x1200's, 3x300's today) two days in a row, I am starting to have these involuntary knee spasms randomly when I walk, I don't like it. They don't hurt, but I lose control of my knee for a split second. Anyone know what's happening?

-Mark
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