Starting to feel some niggles from running?
Most runners assume that muscular discomfort and tension is inevitable when running on a regular basis, but this does not need to be the case. Integrating sports massage into your training regime will make a significant difference. Regular massage reduces injury and improves performance.
Regular maintenance is always recommended to athlete’s who are repeatedly overworking the same muscle groups. This is more important when you are racing, competing, and doing your most rigorous training. With regular treatment you are more able to sustain high levels of performance without getting injured.
Your muscles repeatedly work against resistance, and are stressed. After a period of hard training, an accumulation of waste material, tiny tears and micro-trauma with slight swelling in the muscles, will start to build up. The tissues will also be nutritionally depleted. Massage helps by stimulating the blood circulation through the area. The waste is removed more quickly and completely, and fresh blood arrives to supply the repair and nutritional needs.
One of the most common types of sports injury is the over-use injury. It can develop slowly over a period of time – days, weeks, months and years. You, as a runner may not be aware of the problem until it reaches a critical level. As a massage therapist, I am able to feel for hard areas of tightness, compared to the surrounding tissues. Early treatment can nip a potential problem in the bud, before it turns into an injury. Not only will I be able to feel these problems, but so too will you. You may not have been previously aware of any problem, but massage will make you more aware and you may feel pain in specific areas as deep pressure is applied. Regular massage is a good tool to monitor the effects of training on the condition of the tissues. It also has psychological benefits, by increasing the runner’s sense of well-being and relaxation.
The most common running injuries are ITBS (Iliotibial Band Syndrome) runner’s knee, Achilles Tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, shin splints and ankle instability. None of these develop overnight and is an indication of negligence on the runner’s part.
Coming from my personal experience as a runner, who has completed a couple of marathons and smaller running distances over the years. When I first started out running, and began to increase my mileage. I ignored a niggle in my gluteus muscles, this was a big mistake, as this ‘little niggle ‘ slowly developed into ‘Runners Knee’, costing me a good month out of my training schedule. I have learnt to listen more to my body and make sure I receive regular massages to keep me in check with my body.
There are a number of factors causing small niggles to become serious injuries, such as:
- Too much too soon
- Worn-out shoes
- Insufficient stretching
- Weakness in certain muscle groups
- Setting unrealistic goals
- Poor technique
- Difficult terrain