Hurt Less, Run More

Hurt Less, Run More

Almost every runner experiences some type of running-related pain during his or her career. For some, all it takes is a new pair of shoes. For others, pain may persist for weeks, months or even years. At some point, about half will experience at least one injury which curbs their training for an extended time. Most of these pains and injuries can be avoided. If you are having pain, be confident that there is a better shoe, orthotic and sock to help eliminate the most common nagging aches, pains and injuries. There are also advanced products to help get you through those aggravating times such as compression braces for various muscle and joint areas as well as foot care products for hot spots and blisters. Below are some of the most common running complaints and ways in which Fit2Run can help. Running pain is usually caused by over-using the joint areas of the body while they are misaligned. Improper footwear, including shoes, orthotics and socks can cause misalignment.

FOOTWEAR

Improper footwear can include shoes that don’t fit or are the wrong size, width and/or shape for your foot. Shoes create various levers on the foot which the body has to adjust to, meaning that shoes restrict natural foot movement. These levers force misalignment all the way up to the neck. These adaptations are necessary to maintain your center of gravity and help keep you running in a straight line. Keep in mind that adaptation leads to “misaligned overuse” which in turn leads to injury. By reducing the number of adaptations the body must make, you may proportionally reduce the chances of injury.

ORTHOTICS

Running shoes are flat inside, under the foot and on a 2-dimensional surface. The sock-liner that comes in the shoe is filling in the edges and gaps between the foot
and shoe, mainly for comfort. This is where structured orthotics or foot supports come in to play. These are 3-dimensional and intended to help make the shoe more custom under the
foot as well as aiding in joint alignment. Orthotics will help to artificially align about one third of the foot. An effective orthotic allows the foot to properly move (and stay strong) and support itself, as well as align
the rest of the body above it.

SOCKS

Rounding out the top three categories for safe running is socks. We still find many runners wearing cotton socks which are responsible for a number of foot and shoe problems, including hot spots and blisters, fungus and flaky feet. Throw them out! A good pair of synthetic socks will help keep your feet drier by wicking perspiration from your skin, into the shoe, from where it can potentially evaporate. Synthetic socks are also a very good interface between the foot and shoe, helping to keep blisters from forming. A thicker sock works even better by providing exceptional cushioning, pressure relief and abrasion resistance.

Now that you have the basics down, let’s discuss some causes and remedies for common running pain.

BLISTERS

Blisters are caused by factors such as improper shoe shape for the foot, improper shoe size, improper shoe stability level, cotton socks, or socks that are too big or loose in construction.

WHAT CAN HELP?

• A better fitting, flexible and appropriately stable shoe that is more conforming to the foot will help.
• Orthotics to help balance and position the foot properly and reduce excess movement between the foot and shoe.
• Thorlos Experia Padded Socks are exceptional in preventing blisters. Experia’s proprietary pads do not bottom out
and greatly reduce blister-causing shear forces. Runners with wet feet are more prone to blisters because moisture weakens the skin structure, leaving them more susceptible to shear and pressures. Experia pads have more surface area to pull more moisture away from the foot and work in conjunction with the very thin expansion panels to continually provide moisture evaporating air movement with every step. The result is cooler, drier and healthier feet.
• Footcare products are exceptional when applied to a blister-prone area as well as for protecting and healing an already formed blister or wound.

SHIN SPLINTS

Shin Splints are possible tears in the membrane between the calf muscle and shin bone (Tibia) and can be due to overpronation.

WHAT CAN HELP?

• An appropriately stable and flexible shoe along with a stabilizing orthotic should help alleviate shin splints in the shortest time.
• Padded Thorlos Experia socks help stabilize the foot and ankle and reduce excess foot movement in the shoe through it’s gasket effect.
• Compression calf sleeves or socks can help support and stabilize the calf area to reduce shin pain and aid healing.

UPPER BODY

After a run you expect your legs to be tired, but you may also be experiencing aches and pains in your upper body. Tightness, strains, cramping, aching, soreness, and inflammation can all occur in the neck, shoulders, and arms when you run regularly. Chafing is another common nuisance that can affect your upper body. Anti-chafing balm can aid in preventing this pain.

WHAT CAN HELP?

• Stretching, mobility exercises and rolling can help alleviate these aches and pains.

NEED SOME EXTRA SUPPORT?

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Breasts have no muscle tissue, yet without proper support the skin and Cooper’s ligaments can break down. Once your Cooper’s ligaments stretch, they will not bounce back leaving irreparable damage. Talk to a Fit2Run fit expert to find out how we can ‘support’ you.

KNEE PAIN

Outside knee pain is most likely caused by shoes that are too supportive or are not flexible enough, both of which can cause oversupination. Shoes that are too small or too soft can also be causes. General and/or inside knee pain is typically caused by overpronation, which can be remedied by wearing more supportive shoes to reduce overpronation.

WHAT CAN HELP?

• More flexible shoes can eliminate shoe-induced overpronation.
• Appropriately cushioned shoes should be worn with not too much’ and ‘not too little’ cushioning.
• Orthotics help stabilize your foot in the shoe, relieve pressure and help eliminate excess movement in the knee joint.
• Padded socks help absorb shock that would normally be transferred up to the knee. Because Experia socks do not bottom out and have the most padding of any thin sock, they absorb a substantial amount of shock before getting to the knee. Their gasket effect also reduces foot movement in the shoe that may affect the knee.
• Knee sleeves help guide the joint to maintain proper function so that healing can occur.

PLANTAR FASCIITIS

Causes of Planter Fasciitis include overpronation and/or pressure on an unsupported, high-arched foot. Typically, this affects the heel area but can also occur throughout the arch. Excessively cushioned shoes may cause prolonged stretching of the Plantar Fascia and also lead to injury in this area.

WHAT CAN HELP?

• Orthotics are your first line of defense. The arch must be in a supported position at all times while standing, walking and running. One unsupported step can add trauma to the injured area and further increase healing time. Wear the most supportive orthotics that you can tolerate.
• Wear flexible & appropriately cushioned shoes to eliminate shoe-induced overpronation.
• Padded socks help absorb point pressure under the heel.
• Plantar Fasciitis sleeves can help relieve pain by mechanically stabilizing and supporting the arch so that healing can occur.
• Recovery sandals are a must while not wearing your orthotics and shoes. Remember, one unsupported step can re-injure the affected area.

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