RSMT London https://rsmtlondon.co.uk Hands On Treatment in the Heart of London Mon, 07 Sep 2020 10:28:01 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/cropped-Website-identifier-RSMT-520x520-32x32.png RSMT London https://rsmtlondon.co.uk 32 32 Exercise to improve skill and coordination can help reduce lower back pain https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/exercise-to-improve-skill-and-coordination-can-help-reduce-lower-back-pain/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=exercise-to-improve-skill-and-coordination-can-help-reduce-lower-back-pain https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/exercise-to-improve-skill-and-coordination-can-help-reduce-lower-back-pain/#respond Wed, 16 Jan 2019 14:09:45 +0000 http://rsmtlondon.co.uk/?p=2720 Targeting exercises to muscles that support and control the spine offers another strategy to reduce pain and disability caused by lower back pain a new Cochrane Review shows that. Lower back pain is one of the most common health conditions worldwide. With people needing time of work [...]

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Targeting exercises to muscles that support and control the spine offers another strategy to reduce pain and disability caused by lower back pain a new Cochrane Review shows that.

Lower back pain is one of the most common health conditions worldwide. With people needing time of work it can have substantial economic and health costs as people experience general ill health.

Aiming to improve coordination of the muscles that control and support the spine motor control exercise is a popular form of exercise. A therapist initially guides patients to practice normal use of the muscles with simple tasks. The exercises become more complex, as the patients skill increases, and include functional tasks that the patient are required to do during work and/or leisure. 

 Published in the Cochrane Library the new study gathered together data from 29 randomised trials involving a total of 2,431 men and women, aged between 22 and 55 years old. The trials investigated the impact of using motor control exercises as a treatment for lower back pain compared with other forms of exercise or doing nothing. 

It was found by the Cochrane authors that people who used motor controlled exercises  experienced improvements, especially in pain and disability compared with minimal intervention. When compared with other types of exercise at intervals between 3 and 12 months motor control exercise provided similar results for pain and disability. 

 Lead author, from The George Institute, University of Sydney, Australia, Physiotherapist Bruno Saragiotto said, ‘Targeting the strength and coordination of muscles that support the spine through motor control exercise offers an alternative approach to treating lower back pain. We can be confident that they are as effective as other types of exercise, so the choice of exercise should take into account factors such as patient or therapist preferences, cost and availability. At present, we don’t really know how motor control exercise compares with other forms of exercise in the long term. It’s important we see more research in this field so that patients can make more informed choices about persisting with treatment.’

Source – FHT.org.uk

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Fibromyalgia and meditation therapy study https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/fibromyalgia-and-meditation-therapy-study/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=fibromyalgia-and-meditation-therapy-study https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/fibromyalgia-and-meditation-therapy-study/#respond Tue, 20 Nov 2018 14:55:48 +0000 http://rsmtlondon.co.uk/?p=2674 Meditation therapy used to reduce fibromyalgia symptoms. A first of its kind study have been performed by a team academics into the effectiveness of compassion meditation for treating the debilitating pain condition fibromyalgia, after Lady Gaga had to cancel her world tour as it [...]

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Meditation therapy used to reduce fibromyalgia symptoms.

A first of its kind study have been performed by a team academics into the effectiveness of compassion meditation for treating the debilitating pain condition fibromyalgia, after Lady Gaga had to cancel her world tour as it has been reported in the headlines.

Researchers from Primary Care Prevention and Health Promotion Research Network, University of Derby, the Awake to Wisdom Centre for Meditation and Mindfulness Research in Italy, University of Zaragoza and Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu in Spain assessed and compared Attachment-based Compassion Therapy (ABCT) with relaxation techniques for treating fibromyalgia for the study.

With more women than men diagnosed and affecting about 3% of adults in the UK and Europe the team ran the study with 42men and women split into two groups.

Compared to the relaxation control group, participants in the compassion therapy group demonstrated significant improvements across a range of psychological outcomes and reduced fibromyalgia symptoms by 36 percent overall.

Dr William Van Gordon, Lecturer in Psychology at University of Derby Online Learning, said: “The effectiveness of pharmacological treatments for fibromyalgia, such as anti-depressants, has long been questioned and can lead to unwanted side effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the use of compassion meditation as an alternative treatment for fibromyalgia.

“Following the study, most participants in the ABCT group showed significant improvements and some no longer met the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia.

“As fibromyalgia is linked with sickness-related absence from work, incapacity to work, reduced work productivity and high usage of health-care resources, these results are not only meaningful for the sufferers but could help to address the problem of absence from work and the cost implications of this.”

Involving group sessions and homework assignments. Compassion meditation exercises were used to focus on cultivating a recognition and understanding of the universality of suffering, an emotional connection with others’ suffering, and motivation to act to alleviate suffering.

Using Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), an instrument developed to assess the current health status of women with fibromyalgia syndrome in clinical and research set settings. Fibromyalgia symptoms were measured before and after the trial using the FIQ

The control and compassion therapy group had and average FIQ score of over 60 before the start of the trial. A score of 59 or more corresponds to a severe level of fibromyalgia symptoms. After the study the control group FIQ score remained above 60 while the start of trial, both the compassion therapy group and control group had an FIQ average score of over 60 while the meditation group recorded an average score of 44 on the FIQ.

A reduction of at least 14% is deemed to be clinically important, but in this study the reduction in symptoms was in the order of 36% for fibromyalgia, 30% for psychological flexibility, 45% for anxiety, 54% for depression, and 38% for quality of life. While some symptoms were still likely to be present for participants in the ABCT group, they no were longer deemed to be severe.

Source

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Single workout and heart protection https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/single-workout-and-heart-protection/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=single-workout-and-heart-protection https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/single-workout-and-heart-protection/#respond Fri, 17 Aug 2018 17:05:36 +0000 http://rsmtlondon.co.uk/?p=2587 A single workout may provide immediate protection for the heart A new review published in JAMA Cardiology and led by Dick Thijssen Liverpool John Moores University’s Professor, suggests a single workout can immediately protect the heart against cardiovascular disease. a physically active lifestyle is [...]

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A single workout may provide immediate protection for the heart

A new review published in JAMA Cardiology and led by Dick Thijssen Liverpool John Moores University’s Professor, suggests a single workout can immediately protect the heart against cardiovascular disease.

a physically active lifestyle is widely accepted that it can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This observation is generally attributed to exercise’s ability to reduce cardiovascular risk factors such as insulin and cholesterol levels body and fat mass, among others. Usually this takes several weeks or even months.

Benefits of exercise, however, seem to be present far sooner. This new research shows that only one episode of exercise may provide early protection of the heart for two to three hours, followed by a more robust and longer period of protection that emerges after 24 hours and remains for several days.

This theory is based on the well-known concept that the heart is protected against a blockade of blood flow, such as a myocardial infarction, when it is repeatedly exposed to short periods of blood flow blockade, prior to the event. This ‘prepares’ the heart against damage. Various types of exercise seem to induce a comparable effect, leading to protection of the heart.

Professor in Cardiovascular Physiology and Exercise Dick Thyssen at the LJMU School of Sport and Exercise Sciences explains:

‘Protecting the heart through exercise is an easy, inexpensive, and powerful therapy that deserves greater recognition and further resources to establish the optimal dose. This is a key review summarising how a single bout of exercise can have a clear impact in keeping the heart adequately supplied with blood. Firstly, this means that one bout of exercise can cause clinically relevant protection against cardiovascular disease. Secondly, this means that benefits of exercise are present, even in the absence of changes in risk factors. These are both important and powerful messages for all who want to take up exercise.’

Researchers have recommended that one way clinicians could use this to help patients is with ‘prehabilitation’: a few sessions of exercise planned for the days preceding planned cardiac intervention. The authors hope this may reduce in-hospital mortality and morbidity, assuming, of course, that patients have the capacity for physical activity.

Source

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Aromasticks and sleep https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/aromasticks-and-sleep/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=aromasticks-and-sleep https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/aromasticks-and-sleep/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 15:41:50 +0000 http://rsmtlondon.co.uk/?p=2532 Aromasticks and sleep problems Patients with cancer are often affected by sleep problems and contributing factors, such as increased pain and anxiety, immunity and wound healing, that can affect their quality of life. The Royal Marsden in London and Surrey conducted a study and [...]

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Aromasticks and sleep problems

Patients with cancer are often affected by sleep problems and contributing factors, such as increased pain and anxiety, immunity and wound healing, that can affect their quality of life. The Royal Marsden in London and Surrey conducted a study and audited the use and perceived benefits of aromasticks as an aid to sleep in patients affected by cancer.

Patients referred to complementary therapy were offered, by teams at both Royal Marsden sites and who reported sleep problems, the aromasticks. The aromasticks contained one of three blends and were offered to the 65 participants who were asked to choose one.

Blend A, consisting bergamot (Citrus bergamia) and sandalwood (Santalum austrocaladonicum)

Blend B, frankincense (Boswellia carterii), mandarin (Citrus reticulata) and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Blend C, sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), petitgrain (Citrus aurantium), lavandin (Lavandula hybrida), mandarin (Citrus reticulata), bergamot (Citrus bergamia), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis).

Blend A was the most popular with 33 participants choosing the blend; blend B were chosen by 23 and blend C chosen by 9 participants. Patients were asked to hold the aromastick under the nose and to take four or five deep breaths in and out, as is usual practice, when needed. On a 1-10 Likert scale patients were asked to rate their sleep, for at least two nights before and after using the intervention. They were also asked to rate how effective they thought the aromastick was at aiding sleep. 63 patients completed a follow-up questionnaire, The results based on data from the study showed that 55 (92 per cent) reported that they would continue to use these to aid sleep and 59 (94 per cent) used their aromasticks.

Thirty nine (64 per cent) of patients showed improvement in their sleep by at least one point, overall,

on the 1-10 Likert scale after using an aromastick.

Looking at the three blends individually:

Blend A: 20 patients (67 per cent) showed an improvement in sleep score

Blend B: 14 patients (64 per cent) showed an improvement in sleep score

Blend C: 5 patients (56 per cent) showed an improvement in sleep score

The aromastick were rated as good to excellent at aiding sleep by 46 out of 61 patients (75 per cent). It was noted by the author that: ‘Patient comments seem to indicate that the way the aromasticks help could be as much to do with relaxing, being calm, having a distraction and enjoying the aroma as helping to increase time asleep’. Aromasticks often form part of a treatment, involving massage or reflexology it was noted and the blend can be tailored to individual needs.

Patients had to choose one of three pre-blended aromasticks in this study, also, 31 participants were undergoing chemotherapy which can alter perception of odours.

Source: Dyer J, Cleary L, McNeill S et al (2016). The use of aromasticks to help with sleep problems: A patient experience survey, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 22: 51-58.

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Calorie control https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/calorie-control/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=calorie-control https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/calorie-control/#respond Tue, 08 May 2018 10:48:27 +0000 http://rsmtlondon.co.uk/?p=2511 Exercise better than diet in controlling calorie consumption Dr. David Stensel and his colleagues at Loughborough University performed a study that found that it is more effective to exercise than food restriction when it comes to limiting calorie consumption. Hormonal, behaviour and psychological responses [...]

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Exercise better than diet in controlling calorie consumption

Dr. David Stensel and his colleagues at Loughborough University performed a study that found that it is more effective to exercise than food restriction when it comes to limiting calorie consumption.

Hormonal, behaviour and psychological responses where measured for women in a food restriction diet. Where deficient in calorie consumption were achieved through food restriction the participants showed and increase in ghrelin, the hunger hormone, while lower levels of peptide YY the hunger suppressant hormone. The participants also consumed more at buffet meal, up to a third more, than on occasions where exercise was used to generate a calorie deficient.

Providing a valuable contribution to the diet and exercise debate, Dr Stensel highlighted the study’s findings as it shows that exercise does not increase hunger or encourage participants to eat more in the hours immediately following exercise.

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Essential marathon fueling https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/essential-marathon-fueling/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=essential-marathon-fueling https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/essential-marathon-fueling/#respond Sat, 21 Apr 2018 12:34:14 +0000 http://rsmtlondon.co.uk/?p=2500 Essential marathon fueling tips for before during and after the big race. Team GB have been advised by sports nutritionist James Collins on their Olympic nutrition and here he provides essential advice and tips for the day before, during and after the big race. [...]

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Essential marathon fueling tips for before during and after the big race.

Team GB have been advised by sports nutritionist James Collins on their Olympic nutrition and here he provides essential advice and tips for the day before, during and after the big race.

”Fuelling for training is vital for optimal performance” says James. ”The main fuel for training is carbohydrate, which is stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen, which the body draws upon for energy. The body is only able to store a relatively small amount of carbohydrate, which is why keeping it topped up is so important.”

James Collins suggests on the morning of the Marathon to go for overall fuelling; “What you eat on the morning of your event should link into an overall fuelling strategy that you have developed during your training. Eat a meal two to four hours before the start of the race, and include a range of foods depending on your taste.”

Good breakfast options for the morning of your race may include:

  • Pancakes and mixed toppings, such as fruits and nuts
  • Porridge oats with milk or soy milk
  • Granola with milk or soy milk
  • Multigrain bread topped with eggs
  • Fruit salad and low-fat Greek yogurt
  • Bagels or breakfast muffins with low-fat cottage cheese
  • Fruit juice or a fruit smoothie

During the race, for energy-boosting,  and if you already regularly consume caffeine as part of your diet, can be a usual alternative to carbohydrates for an energy boost. Commercially available sports drinks and gels containing caffeine can be extremely useful, especially later in the race.

Refuel during the race to keep energy levels up suggest James “Don’t rely on hunger as a cue to refuel during the race. As a rule, practice and refine your fuelling during training and find a strategy you’re comfortable with. Taking on carbohydrate little and often, for a constant energy supply, is often the most efficient strategy.”

Approximately 30-60g of carbohydrate an hour, as a rough guide, will be your target during the marathon, as the body can absorb this amount and use it for energy on the move. Carbohydrate drinks are typically the most efficient alongside good hydration to meet these targets,. Small pieces of banana, cereal bars and jellied sweets also can help to offset hunger. readily available on race day, carbohydrate gels are also available and rapidly absorbed by the body.

See what works best for you and experiment with quantities during training. The following list will provide around 30g of carbohydrate –

  • 500ml bottle of commercially available sports drink
  • One and a half carbohydrate energy gels
  • A small handful of jellied sweets
  • One large banana
  • One large cereal bar or carbohydrate based energy bar (choose a low-fibre option)

Finally, that all important recovery post run, James suggests eating within 30 mins after running –  ”Your body needs essential nutrients to kick start the growth and repair process after a hard training session. Carbohydrates are the body’s main fuel source, and are stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver. As the body can only store a certain amount of carbohydrate, once depleted through exercise these reserves need to be replaced before your next training session”

Protein is vital for the growth and repair of muscle tissue and as hard training depletes the body’s stores it is important to refuel with high-protein snacks as soon as possible. To reduce muscle soreness the next day its essential to replenish after each training. If you can’t face eating straight after a run, introduce fluids to your recovery strategy.

The magic number is 20g of protein this is what you need to optimise the recovery process after training. The following snacks will help you reach this target:

  • 500ml milkshake
  • Natural yogurt based fruit smoothie
  • Sandwich with lean meats, eggs, or low-fat cheese
  • Greek yogurt, granola and mixed berries

For further information, the BBC Good Food website offers a huge range of tips and suggestions for diet around exercise at its marathon hub containing all the information runners will need this weekend.

Source

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The role of the Prostate https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/the-role-of-the-prostate/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-role-of-the-prostate https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/the-role-of-the-prostate/#respond Tue, 10 Apr 2018 12:51:09 +0000 http://rsmtlondon.co.uk/?p=2480 British men largely unaware of the role of the prostate Prostate Cancer UK has found in a study that British men have dangerously low levels of understanding in the role of the prostate. Located below the bladder and in front of the rectum nourishes [...]

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British men largely unaware of the role of the prostate

Prostate Cancer UK has found in a study that British men have dangerously low levels of understanding in the role of the prostate.

Located below the bladder and in front of the rectum nourishes and protects sperm by producing a fluid component of sperm. More than 90% of the 1900 men surveyed were aware of the glands role, 20% were unaware they had the gland and over half didn’t know where the gland was located.

Prostate cancer is the cause for more than 10000 deaths in men per year. Weak urine flow, feeling as if the bladder hasn’t emptied , needing to run to the toilet or needing to urinate more frequently are all symptoms of prostate cancer.

Source: Cancer Research UK

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Reduce injury risk, wear shoes with no cushioning https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/reduce-injury-risk-wear-shoes-with-no-cushioning/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=reduce-injury-risk-wear-shoes-with-no-cushioning https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/reduce-injury-risk-wear-shoes-with-no-cushioning/#respond Sat, 31 Mar 2018 11:51:56 +0000 http://rsmtlondon.co.uk/?p=2453 Can shoes with no cushioning reduce the risk of injury? RResearch from the University of Exeter found landing on balls of your feet and wearing shoes with no cushioning puts less strain on your body. Published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & [...]

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Can shoes with no cushioning reduce the risk of injury?

RResearch from the University of Exeter found landing on balls of your feet and wearing shoes with no cushioning puts less strain on your body.

Published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal the study measured the loading rate of runners (when their feet hit the ground), a factor in injury risk. Significantly lower loading rates were recorded of the 29 runners from those wearing ‘minimal’ trainers than people in standard running shoes.

Rearfoot strike (when landing on the heel of the foot) occurred more often with those wearing cushioned footwear while forefoot strike (when landing on the ball of the feet) occurred more with someone running without shoes or wearing minimal shoes. Landing on the heel of the foot results in ‘abrupt vertical impact force’, it is believed which is often missing from the forefoot strike.

Despite footwear being highly modifiable, runners experience injuries because inappropriate footwear are being purchased.

‘However, our research tells us that running with a forefoot strike in shoes that lack cushioning, and becoming accustomed to it, promotes landing on the balls of the with the lowest loading rates, and this may be beneficial in reducing the risk of injury.’ Lead Author of the study Dr Hannah Rice commented.

Source

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Running injuries – Part 2 https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/running-injuries-part-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=running-injuries-part-2 https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/running-injuries-part-2/#respond Thu, 08 Feb 2018 17:13:29 +0000 http://rsmtlondon.co.uk/?p=2313 Preventing running injuries - Part 2 Continiuing on from part 1. The biggested and as much as 60% of running injuries is thought to be due to training errors Training errors The most common being a sudden increase in training or excessive mileage. Experience also [...]

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Preventing running injuries – Part 2

Continiuing on from part 1. The biggested and as much as 60% of running injuries is thought to be due to training errors

Training errors

The most common being a sudden increase in training or excessive mileage. Experience also plays a role with experienced runners reporting more foot injuries compared to inexperienced runners reporting more knee and hamstring injuries. Individual training programmes are highly recommended to prevent injury as every runner is different and will respond differently to any given programme or exercise.

Injury preventative techniques:

  • Strength exercises is an absolute necessity to reduce or address any imbalance in muscle strength. They should ideally be done with 15/20 repetitions in one or two sets and at least two or three times per week. Examples of strength exercises:
    • Prone core stabilisation
    • Single leg balance drills
    • Lunges
  • Stretching should be part of any exercise programme with warm up stretching (often referred to as dynamic stretching) before and a more rigorous stretch and hold (static) stretching afterwards. A static stretch pose should be held from 30 seconds up to a minute.
  • A very effective method of self-massage is a foam roller and should ideally be done for no more than a minute at a time and before doing stretches.
  • Picking the correct footwear is critical. If the runner has high arches or a more ridged foot then shoes that provide extra cushioning whereas runners with flat feet ad that overpronate should aim for motion control shoes. Running shoes should also be replaced every 400 to 500 miles as loss of support and integrity can also be the cause of injuries.
  • Sports massage should again also be part of any physical exercise programme and would be essential for the runner. There is a number of aspects that sports massage and soft tissue release can have a beneficial effects on:
    • Enhancing performance: Muscle tightness can cause problems with lack of strength, reduced range of movement and poor circulation causing inhibition which can all have an impact on training and performance.
    • Preventing injury: Soft tissue injuries, muscle strain can all be caused by tightness in muscles, however when this becomes chronic the issues can become more severe, such as inflammation in muscles and connective tissues, and have a greater impact on the body resulting in:
      • Back and shoulder problems
      • ITB syndrome
      • Shin splints
      • Achilles tendinopathy
      • Plantar fasciitis.

Faster rehabilitation: Used in conjunction with sports therapy and medical treatment deep tissue massage and assisted stretching can be employed by the sports massage therapist after the injury has healed. Scar tissue that developed during the healing process can be broken down to improved range of motion and further pain reduction.

Understanding, awareness and education

Remember running injuries are not only common but there are a wide-ranging set of factors that can contribute to the onset of injuries. Just by knowing the causes you can potentially prevent a significant portion of injuries.

Here are 10 tips to keep in mind in the prevention of injuries

Part 1 | 2

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Running injuries – Part 1 https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/running-injuries-part-1/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=running-injuries-part-1 https://rsmtlondon.co.uk/running-injuries-part-1/#respond Fri, 26 Jan 2018 08:00:42 +0000 http://rsmtlondon.co.uk/?p=2271 Preventing running injuries - Part 1 It is estimated that worldwide around 1.6 billion people take part in running for exercise or competition. Around 10.5 million of those are in the UK alone running for various reasons such as health, fitness, recreation, social wellbeing [...]

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Preventing running injuries – Part 1

It is estimated that worldwide around 1.6 billion people take part in running for exercise or competition. Around 10.5 million of those are in the UK alone running for various reasons such as health, fitness, recreation, social wellbeing or training.

However, running injuries can happen to any runner, and it’s estimated that 79% of will get injured in any given year. It takes just a few steps to prevent the development of a serious injury and a few moments to understand the cause and education in preventative plans.

Running injuries

The most common place for running injuries are from the hips down, although most runners will report issues from the knees down – if you’re reading, and you are a frequent runner, it is very likely you’ve experience one of the injuries below. But fatigue, poor technique, the wrong footwear, change in running surface or a fall can also lead to injuries from the waist up.

The below two graphics show the front (anterior) and back (posterior) most common running injuries.

Anterior running injuries
Posterior running injuries

The many causes of injuries

There are many things that can cause running injuries and often are combined, increasing the risk of injury:

  • Poor footwear
  • Non-specific training methods
  • Previous history of injury
  • Abnormal running mechanics.

Particularly for males there is a high tendency to run excessive distances, which also predispose the runner to injury. A high arched foot (cavus foot) muscle weakness and leg length difference also appear to be factors for predisposition to injuries.

A tremendous amount of body weight is placed on the heel and ball of the foot combined with much higher impact forces due to sufferers with cavus foot decreased shock absorbency and flexibility. Injuries that are more prevalent with cavus foot include stress fractures and a higher risk of PFP. An asymmetric gait caused by leg length difference, which can be anything from as little as 0.05cm up to 4cm, is associated with injuries such as stress fracture of the lower leg, Iliotibial band syndrome and lower back or hip pain. However a major factor associated with lower extremity injuries is due to muscle weakness that causes imbalances and if not corrected can lead to particular areas of the body being placed under undue stress, this in turn can also lead to injury.

A few examples of how weak or inhibited muscles can lead to specific injuries:

  • Tight gastrocnemius (calf) muscles combined with weak tibialis anterior (shin muscles) can lead to stress fractures of the tibia and shin splints.
  • Inhibited or weak gluteal muscles can cause ITB injury.
  • As with leg length difference, muscle weakness causes the weak muscles to fight the tight muscles. This results in fatigue setting in, and combined with inadequate biomechanics generally leads to joint integrity being compromised, which further leads to the onset of injury.

Choosing the appropriate footwear

The attempts to reduce injury for runners through specific based on shoe design is based on material development, technological advancement in shock absorbency and active control of the impact area. But it seems runners are swayed more by brand, colours and looks than terrain suitability and fit.

The interaction between your feet and the shoe and the shoe and the running surface should be the key aspects of shoe design and choice. Manufacturers have embraced that to decrease injury the shoe has to be fitted top the foot and gait and modern shows have various features that help with foot functions. Reducing injury is further achieved by understanding the terrain that the runner will be running on predominantly, examples of shoe specific design would be extra cushioned shoes for greater shock absorbency supinators or cavus feet and elevated insteps for overpronators.

Barefoot running is also becoming more popular and the lower impact midfoot and forefoot strike and shorter stride is thought to reduce the risk of injury even further. But the transition from traditional running to this more natural running must be done gradually, managed properly and on appropriate terrain to reduce risk of injury.

Part 1 | 2

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