Thanks to our running specialist, Kristi Moore, MSPT, for this informative post for runners.
As we are getting closer to the Missoula Marathon and many other long distance races in Montana, there are likely to be an increase in aches and pains with the increase in mileage. This can be especially true for beginning runners, but also for experienced runners after a long winter with decreased weekly mileage.
This month I felt it would be beneficial to talk about some ways to help decrease the aches and pains, as well as when you should seek professional advice.
It is normal to have soreness, usually in your legs or feet with longer runs. This is true especially the first time you run a particular distance. This is the result of your muscles tightening up after a longer fatiguing effort, but not related to a specific trauma or injury. These aches and pains are often described as soreness, stiffness, or tightness. This type of leg pain is usually felt in the quads, hamstrings, glutes (buttocks), or hip flexors (front of hip).
Why do we get this soreness? It is a result of the repetition of running, and the less experience you have with longer distance running the more you may feel it. Even with experience you may feel this type of soreness, but it will go away quicker. For inexperienced runners it may take a few days to dissipate, for experienced runners it is usually gone in a day or so.
What can you do to help decrease this type of normal soreness?
When should you be concerned about the aches and pains you feel with running longer distances?
If you are experiencing this type of pain, it could be a sign you have an injury that needs specific attention. If you aren’t sure what type of pain you are having, set up a consult with a Physical Therapist who will be able to help you determine if you need treatment or if there are things you can try on your own. Remember, Run Wild Missoula members can schedule free 15 minute consultations at Alpine Physical Therapy, so let us help you keep running!
For more information on our services at Alpine Physical Therapy for runners, visit our running webpage by clicking here, or call Kristi Moore at our north clinic at 406-541-2606.
Brent Dodge is the founding owner of Alpine Physical Therapy and is a board certified orthopedic specialist. He holds additional certifications in Functional Dry Needling, Manual Physical Therapy, and Strength and Conditioning.
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