Running Technique for recurrent injuries

Whenever you head out these days you are sure to see people running, donning the latest activity wear, water bottles, headphones and tracking technology. And why not, running is after all a great way of exercise, get out, gain stress relief and become a part of a community heading out for parkrun, fun run, marathons, travel …

However, the enjoyment for the majority is hindered by the utter frustration of injury and recurrent injury. It’s not surprising really, considering that a keen runner will put in a quite a few hours per week, each step taking 3 – 5 times the bodyweight in impact. If you weigh 75kg for example, that would be between 225 – 375kg per step for tens of thousands of steps per week. Much moreso if your technique is not good.

Answers to injury are often sought in the latest pair of trainers, exercises, and blogs. Perhaps rest is the answer, let it settle and try again, only to be disappointed. Of course keen Runners are desparate to get back out there and will just as soon as they can. Unfortunately, injuries lead to many giving up on the activity they love.

Were you ever taught to run?

Have you ever been taught and trained on HOW to run? Perhaps you went to swimming classes, golf lessons, your parent taught you to kick a football or throw a netball, the PE teacher taught you to forward roll or throw a javelin. Were you ever taught to run though?

For a few maybe, but for the majority No, of course not, you just do it don’t you, you crawl, walk and then run, right? Well in theory yes, but running is a skill and can be trained. Running technique can be the difference between efficient, enjoyable injury free miles or struggling and recurrent injuries. Overstriding, hip drops, a collapses, a cross-over, are some of the habits that may have developed but for that individual they aren’t helping.

Thankfully these can be assessed and re-trained. David Brown BSc (hons) is a Movement Coach at Core Clinics, Warwickshire and has a program to help. An initial assessment will consist of a Video Biomechanical Analysis to identify any areas of your technique that may add to your injury risk or lack of efficiency. A Functional Movement Analysis will also cross-check these factors. If changes are needed a program of 6 sessions of re-patterning is usually sufficient to retrain these habits, although some may need additional sessions or may need some preparation or rehab sessions before the program.

Sam recently ran 50miles, ‘I loved every minute, I can definitely tell the difference’, Shimmy had his assessment session due to recurring ankle pain, the following day he beat his Parkrun personal best and ran pain free! Debbie was suffering with her hamstring, but enjoys pain free running now. Helen arrived with knee pain, a few sessions later she was pain free, we then corrected her running pattern and now she’s happily putting in the miles…

Suitable for every runner, from Beginner to Serious Amateur, for Adults and Kids, for those who struggle and want to improve, for those who run in other sports and for those who are good and want to get better.

If you are enjoying injury free efficient running then there’s probably no need to change, however if you are blighted by recurrent running injuries book in now for an assessment session with David Brown, Movement Coach.

Core Clinics also have a range of clinicians to support Runners, from Sports Therapists, Podiatrists, Physio’s, Chiropractors, Dieticians, Psychologists, and Massage Therapists.

There used to be a coffee advert, I think it was the one with the couple flirting, where they boasted that it is the right blend of roasts that create their unique flavour. Well for people suffering with long standing musculoskeletal pain it is the right blend of interventions that are going to have the best success.

When clients come to Core, they all too frequently say ‘I’ve been to them all, you name them I’ve seen them, some of them help for a bit but then it just comes back. I had all but given up and then I heard about Core from a friend, so I thought I’d give it a go’.

Now over the years, they have probably been told numerous reasons for their pain, a spine out of line, weak muscles, foot collapse, tight tissue, blocked energy, the wrong foods; it’s all in your head … and so on. And to be fair, many of them would have been right; however the problem has been that each therapist has tried to only treat it from their own individual professional perspective and skill set.

If you only straighten the spine then the foot collapse and tight tissue will likely throw it all out before the week is out; if you level the feet but the joints are super stiff and you’re limping with an out-turned foot you’ve still got problems; if you do a really thorough soft tissue release but the skeleton and gait are all out of sync then it’ll likely all tighten up again pretty soon. I could go on and on . . .

However what if your programme consisted of the most pertinent two or three interventions for you, as you are presenting at that time. So now within the same period of time your feet are better aligned, your spine is straighter, your soft tissue is more mobile and you are walking and moving better. Perhaps that is not the right blend for you, perhaps it’s Massage, Shockwave Therapy and mobility exercises. Perhaps, it’s Podiatry and Movement Re-patterning or Chiropractic and IDD (Intervertebral Disc Decompression). But don’t decide on your own, let one of our clinicians plan it with you.

By having two or three clinicians working with you towards the same goal, using their own specialist skills, the piece of the jigsaw comes together and like many of our clients before you, you are suddenly enjoying a life free from pain.

Two or three clinicians wait a minute that sounds expensive; I’ve already spent a fortune trying to get this right. Well in the short-term there is an investment to be made to get on the right track, however before long as things ease the level of input required is reduced until you reach a stage when you just need to pop in once in a while to make sure things are still on track.

So going back to my point, for chronic pain, an isolated intervention may help but is unlikely to unravel all the problems you have been experiencing for all these years, however the right blend is the most likely to give life changing relief.

David Brown BSc (hons)

Movement Coach