If you’re over 40, it’s never too late to begin a good exercise routine. Running is always popular and gives you the freedom that you need to achieve your active fitness goals. One thing to always keep in mind is avoiding injury while you are running. There are several conditions that can make you more prone to injuries and increase your risk for further complications. Here are a few ways to prevent injuries while running, especially if you’re over age 40 and have an underlying injury.
Has your doctor diagnosed you in the past with plantar fasciitis? Maybe you understand that the pain can be excruciating. In many cases, running or over use of the muscles at the base of the foot can lead to this condition. If you plan on running again, especially over age 40, you should take certain precautions such as:
- Taping your heal to prevent further or advanced injury.
- Stretching the tight fascia in the lower leg.
- Wearing a leg brace that helps cup the heel.
- Ice or cold therapy wrap after your run.
Plantar fasciitis foot brace results are generally good. A foot brace helps to support your leg and your foot to prevent further injury. If pain persists, seek professional help from your doctor. He may recommend strength training or physical therapy before further exercise.
Pulled Or Over Stressed Muscle
Were you previously an avid runner? You may have found that you may have pulled or overstretched a muscle to the point of pain. This can be long lasting and lead to overall weakness. If you’re planning on getting back into running on a regular basis, you’ll have to make sure to take precautions to prevent further strain or injury. Some common rules to follow include:
- Eat a good breakfast or high carbohydrate prior to your run.
- Stretch core muscle groups in your legs.
- Do a short warm up of running in place.
- Avoid improper stride and quick leg movements that could promote falling or injury.
- Get fitted properly for shoes that highlight your foot pattern.
- Wear protective compression braces and wraps to support your knees and ankles.
If your previous strain or injury was severe, see your doctor or orthopaedic surgeon to get cleared for future running events. Being over 40 also puts you at an increased risk for calcium deficiency, which can also lead to bone and muscle weakness.
Previous Break Or Fracture
Because you are more prone to a break over 40, it’s important to take precautions to prevent this from happening during a run. Stretching is the first step in loosening muscle groups and preparing your body for exertion. Try doing some light cardio before you start your run. This will reduce the sudden strain on your muscle groups as you take off on the pavement or gravel. Take special care of affected areas with a previous break or strain directly after your run also. Utilize a combination of hot and cold therapy to ease pain and swelling.
If you’ve had a previous diagnosis of tendonitis, especially around the Achilles heel, you’re prone to re-injury. This sensitive area that links your calf muscles to your heel can easily become injured during a strong run. It can take several weeks to heal. This is especially true for middle aged adults, because of the shrinking of muscle mass that comes with normal aging. If you suddenly step down hard on your heel during a run, it can easily affect the area and trigger tendonitis. Unresolved Achilles tendonitis can be degenerative and cause significant pain and swelling. Visit your physiotherapist or general practitioner to have it completely evaluated prior to your first major run.
When you’re over 40, always consult with a medical professional prior to exercising and have your old injury looked at. Keep in mind that utilizing stretching and proper warm up techniques can go a long way toward preventing a new injury.