running injuries

It’s March Madness! Prepare Yourself!

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Do you play hard?  These injuries are the most common injuries in basketball.

  • Finger Jams – Finger joint pain and swelling from an impact injury which can lead to dislocation, fractures and ligament tears.
  • Hamstring Strains – Excessive stretch or tear of muscle fibers and other related tissues.  Pain can be moderate to extremely heavy in the back of the leg just over the knee.
  • Patella Tendonitis – Also known as jumper’s knee.  This injury is caused from overuse from repetitive overloading of the extensor mechanism of the knee.  Most commonly, pain is felt with an aching feeling in the anterior knee.  May lead to complete tendon tear which requires surgery.
  • Achilles Tendonitis – Inflammation and pain of the large tendon in the back of the ankle caused by overuse.
  • Shin Splints – Commonly found in athletes that run often.  This condition is characterized by pain in the lower part of the leg between the knee and the ankle.
  • Ankle Sprain – A partial or complete tearing of the ligaments in the ankle.

Here are a few tips from orthoinfo.aaos.org to help keep you safe!

  • Maintain you’re fitness.  Be sure you are in good physical condition at the start of basketball season.
  • Make it a part of your routine to warm up and stretch.  Research studies have shown that cold muscles are more prone to injury.
  • Hydrate.  Even small levels of dehydration can hurt you’re athletic performance.  Drink 24 ounces of non-caffeinated fluid 2 hours before exercise.
  • Use of proper equipment.  Shoes, ankle supports, knee and elbow pads, mouth guards, and safety glasses are all critical equipment tools to arm yourself with.
  • Ensure a safe environment.  Make sure courts are free of debris that can be hazardous when playing.
  • If you are injured make sure all signs of injury are gone before returning to play.
  • Prevent overuse injuries.  Limit the number of teams you play on in a season.  When playing on more than one team you are at risk for overuse injuries.

Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center offers the most comprehensive care under one roof.  Whether you need to be seen for sprains, strains, or other serious sports injuries our team of specialists can help.

We will help you achieve your goals of getting back in the game!

Call us today at (540) 347-9220 to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

How To Prevent Common Running Injuries; By Jen Wilkins, PT

Almost two dozen local runners interacted with Jennifer Wilkins, PT, from Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center at a recent seminar on how to recognize and treat running injuries. Hosted by Old Town Athletic Club, the event spotlighted common runner injuries, proper stretching techniques, and how to select the proper footwear

Jennifer Wilkins, PT, explains Achilles Tendonits

The four most common running injuries, according to Wilkins: Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, lliotibial band syndrome, and patellofemoral pain. Focusing on the hip, knee and foot areas by strengthening surrounding muscles, stretching appropriately, and getting proper rest can help prevent all of these common injuries.

Once an injury has occurred, many runners overcompensate, which can end up worsening the initial problem.  “Stay balanced and work both sides of the body in case of an injury,” Wilkins recommended. “Also, do not over-train yourself. Listen to your body and take a break to allow proper healing”.

Stretching: before and after

Stretching should occur both before and after workouts. Ideally a runner should warm up with a brief, slow run, and then stretch before beginning the workout. Once the workout is finished, a short cool-down run should be completed, following by stretching. Without stretching, muscles will tighten over time and injuries can occur. Alignment is key to proper stretching.

Proper footwear is very important—and that starts with picking the right shoe. Runners with high arches do not have good, natural shock absorbers, and 90% would benefit with a shoe insert, Wilkins said.  Low-arched individuals may need comfort in the toe area if they are toe to heel runners.

Rotating shoes often also is key, Wilkins said. “Shoes should be replaced throughout the year. My strategy is to divide body weight from 75,000 and that will equal how many miles a pair of shoes should ideally be used for,” said Wilkins. She also recommended purchasing two pairs of shoes to alternate between runs to allow decompression and time for the shoes to dry out completely.

Running barefoot?

What about running barefoot or lightweight shoes? It takes a long training program for one to run barefoot or use the lightweight footwear comfortably and safely, Wilkins cautioned. They do not have the normal support of regular running shoes, but a runner can always train appropriate and strengthen the surrounding muscles in the foot, knee, and hip to adjust to the barefoot lifestyle.

Both Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center (BROAVA) and Old Town Athletic Club offer wonderful resources for runners. BROAVA provides customized physical therapy programs for athletes and weekend warriors alike, and the Old Town personal training team can craft the perfect workout program for you.

Ready for a good run? Come join us at the inaugural Bodies In Motion 5K on Saturday, May 20, 2012. The run is a fundraising event for Fauquier’s high schools and several local nonprofits, including The Fauquier Food Bank, Boys & Girls Club, and the Fauquier Clinic.

Blue Ridge Orothpaedic And Spine Center Runner's Injury Prevention Seminar