How To Get Back to Running after an Injury
Recovering from an injury? Here’s how to check your physical, emotional and mental health before returning to pound those pavements.
1. See a specialist
You’ve pulled a muscle mid-run and hobbled home. A few days later, you’re still in pain. You could wait it out and see if time heals your injury, but savvy runners will make an appointment to see a specialist straight away. Seeing a professional will give you the confidence to keep training. And if the injury is significant, catching it early means the shortest rehab and therefore the least time away from running.
2. Don’t run before you can jump – literally
If you’ve been under the guidance of a health professional, they will be able to assess whether you’re ready to get back out there. But if you’ve recovered under your own steam, a good marker is your ability to jump.
3. Rehab with a massage
It may sound indulgent, but think of massage as a treatment. A good sports massage will aid injury recovery before you start running again, and regular treatments after your first few runs will continue to help your rehabilitation process.The deep and specific pressure applied during a sports massage improves blood flow and helps to break up any unwanted scar tissue that may have built up in the muscles.
4. Rebuild confidence
If your injury was caused by a trip or fall, it might be more than your bum that’s bruised – your ego may have taken a knock, too. Set yourself a series of different goals, from the easily achievable to the more challenging.
When it comes to rebuilding confidence post-injury, be patient and be organised. Remind yourself why you want to run and assure yourself you will get back on track.
But don’t get carried away; if you were intent on smashing PBs before you were injured, you need to be realistic about your goals and expectations post-recovery.
5. Get analysed
Ensure you’re on top form when you do get back out there with a gait analysis. Running in the wrong trainers could cause lower-limb and foot problems. A podiatrist can assess your running style and provide tailor-made insoles. Gait analysis identifies inefficiencies in your technique or strength and can benefit all levels of runners, from those just starting out to seasoned athletes who keep getting annoying niggles.
By using slow-motion analysis, any issues are magnified, allowing you and your therapist to create a plan to improve them, making you more resistant to injuries, and a better runner.
For more information on how to get back to you best after an injury, call PCA on 0813 028 0496!