Here’s how you can manage and prevent some common sports injuries to keep you fighting fit for the big day – after all, well beings keep running!
Sprains and Strains
Sprains are joint injuries that involve damage to ligaments or a joint capsule, and can often occur in the wrist, ankle or thumb. Strains are injuries to muscles, or to the tendons that connect muscles to bones, commonly affecting the calf, hamstring or groin.
At the time of the sprain or strain
Follow the RICE protocol:
- Ice applied for 15 minutes every two hours, for 1-2 days after the injury.
- Compression with a bandage applied to the affected area.
- Elevate the affected part so it is higher than the heart.
Keep the affected part immobilised for a while (for example with a splint or bandage), especially if the tissue damage is extensive.
High impact activities, such as running on concrete or other hard surfaces can contribute to the development of shin splints, along with other risk factors such as over training, poor running technique or having flat feet.
If you’re experiencing shin splints
- Rest your legs, and apply an icepack to the affected area for 10-20 minutes, three or four times a day.
- Switch to a different form of exercise while your legs are healing. Swimming can be a good alternative as it is low impact and non-weight bearing.
- Physiotherapy may be beneficial.
Cramps can occur for many reasons. They usually resolve themselves in a few moments, but if they occur frequently or take longer than a few minutes to go away, it may be an indication of an underlying issue, such as an imbalance of electrolytes; muscle tightness, or fatigue; or even from wearing high heels too long!
During a cramp
- Lengthen the muscle by gently stretching it.
- Gently rub or massage the affected muscle.
- Apply an ice pack if necessary.
Consider a magnesium supplement, such as Blackmores Super Magnesium+, if you experience cramps or spasms frequently, as it may help relieve. Magnesium supports normal muscle function and is particularly important for exercise performance and the production of energy.
For all injuries and recurring cramps, seek medical advice in order to ensure the problem is correctly diagnosed and appropriately treated.
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Preventing blisters is definitely better than cure! Make sure you wear shoes and socks that fit well, and always be careful with new shoes. Get them fitted well at a running shop if you can. The type of shoe is probably less important than the fit, which needs to be perfect.
Majority of us spend 6 – 8 hours a day sitting, which constantly shortens our hamstrings. Then, many of us might try go out for a run and elongate the hamstring after sitting all day, which as a result cn put too much stress on the hamstrings causing them to freak out and tighten up.
Stopping a future hamstring injury is impossible, however, minimising the likelihood of injury can be achieved through specific hamstring exercises. The exercises should aim to achieve ‘strong and long/flexible’ hamstrings in comparison to ‘weak and short/tight’.
Whilst stretching exercises can help achieve ‘long’ hamstrings, certain strengthening exercises are more effective. Think ‘strengthen to lengthen.’
For more information on how to support your journey to wellbeing or to register for the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival on 17 September 2017, visit Run.Blackmores.com.au
Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare practitioner. Supplements may only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate