Hi again. I had written about the possible/potential downsides of any running/jogging workout – injuries being one of them. I thought it was necessary for me to address what could be done towards treating them. The best option is always to consult your doctor. However, it is important to know what you are dealing with and what can be done by you if the doctor is not available immediately.
There were a few others that I thought required attention, and here they are:
1. Pulled Muscle: A pulled muscle can occur when sudden or extreme force is applied to the fibres of the muscle, stretching them too far or tearing them. The calf and thigh are most prone areas for muscle pulls. Treatment with the RICE (Rest, Icepack, Compression/support and Elevation) method always works. However, once the pain is gone, you should try out stretching slowly to lengthen the muscle. It may take anything between a week to 2 weeks for complete healing to take place, depending on the size of the muscle.
2. Cramps: Cramps can occur when there is a sudden tightening of a muscle due to either dehydration or tiredness. I t can also be caused by poor blood flow to an area which is being exerted. Again, the calf and feet are the most vulnerable areas. A cramp usually wraps up in a few minutes or hours. It can be treated by gently massaging and stretching the affected area.
3. Plantar Fasciitis: This is a painful condition on the underside of the heel. It could be caused by excessive wear of the plantar fascia or due to a pronation in the feet of the jogger/runner. Jogging/running for long durations or with a pair of non-cushioned shoe may bring this on. Many sorts of treatments are effective. Using NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammation drugs), local pain killer injections, and resting along with ice application are the general pattern of therapy. Stretching the Achilles tendons and the plantar fascia also help speed recovery.
The idea is not to put you off any jogging or running activity that you enjoy, it is about taking the precautions and knowing your stuff. The bottom line is that if you practice the right form, technique, patience, use the right gear, and back it up by proper nutrition, these injuries are highly unlikely to occur. In my next post, I am going to leave you with some confidence and motivation to using the treadmill as a perfect way to achieve cardiovascular fitness.