RUN FOR GAIN – NOT PAIN!
With the current restrictions on socialising and exercise, we are all looking for novel ways to keep fit. For some of us that could mean increasing our running frequency or even starting running, after months (or years) of relative inactivity. Running is accessible to all and may seem like there perfect solution but it’s important to take care and not to push oneself towards injury.
Have you ever been for a run and felt pain in your joints or muscles? If you’re new to running it’s not unusual for it to feel painful and hard. Unless that pain is in a specific area, it’s more than likely just your body adapting to this new activity.
It is important to understand how to distinguish normal exercise-related pain from a potential injury. Pain from a injury can generally be divided into two categories: sharp intense pain or dull, more continuous pain. The type of pain you get can also indicate whether it’s safe to carry on running or if you should stop and seek professional advice.
HOW BAD IS THE PAIN?
It can be helpful to use a pain scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being very severe pain.
Mild pain, around 1-3 usually disappears with your warm-up or within a few minutes of starting your run.
Moderate pain, 4-6 on the scale is ‘threshold pain’. This may not necessarily increase or affect your running but may linger after the run. Doing a different lower impact exercise like walking or skipping for a few days may allow this ‘threshold pain’ to subside but if it persists when you resume running, you should seek help.
If you have severe pain i.e more than 6 out of 10, that causes limping or remains intense when you stop running this requires attention from a specialist sports physiotherapist.
DO I HAVE MUSCLE, JOINT OR BONE PAIN?
Muscle pain is generally less intense than bone pain – it’s more superficial, it hurts when the muscle is stretched or contacted and can be sore to the touch, with swelling or bruising around the area.
Bone pain is generally deeper and sharper but in more severe cases it can become a dull ache, with pain at rest and at night, as in cases of stress fractures.
Joint pain is more commonly associated with stiffness, and there may be related clicking, locking and swelling if there is injury to cartilage tissue, for example in the knee.
WHEN SHOULD I SEE A PHYSIO?
If your pain is stopping you from training effectively, causing limping or you have swelling that is not improving with rest, you should seek assistance from a chartered sports physiotherapist.
If you would like any further information or to book an appointment call us on: 0203 751 7227