Not too long ago, there was an article in the Army Times that highlighted the fact that many service members suffer from running injuries. I had to look up a couple of these injuries. I know I’m getting redundant posting running articles, but I find that I always need improvement in running.
You may think that running is the easiest form of exercise because the technique is just to allow each of your feet to rapidly touch the ground alternately. Think again. Since running requires a fast movement, a running athlete is prone to injuries. Here are the most common injuries in running and its effective prevention method. (ughh… sounding like a TM, huh?)
Runner’s Knee is also known as (ITBS) Iliotibial Band Syndrome. Runners knee is experienced when an athlete stresses too much in the exercise. You can feel a sudden feeling of soreness felt within the legs because of wrong stretching technique before the sports event or choosing the wrong sports gear – or ill fitting military gear. You can take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), massage and use cold therapy would lessen the pain. By NSAID, I do mean Ibuprofen, AKA Ranger Candy, AKA the MF IAM (military fix it all medication).
Just like Runners knee, shin splints is an injury felt by an athlete, or in this case service member, in his legs as a result of overtraining, wearing the wrong running shoes and poor flexibility. Cold therapy, massage technique and medication of NSAID also cure Shin Splints together with an ample amount of rest. Yes, the same stuff that they tell you at sick-call PLUS rest.
3. Achilles tendonitis or Achilles Tendinopathy is a result of putting too much pressure on the tendons thus allowing the muscles to work beyond its endurance. It is also cause by rapid changes in the distance and speed in an athlete’s exercise with weak joints and wearing the wrong shoes. Similar to Runners knee and shin splints, Achilles tendonitis can be cure by massage, cold therapy and NSAID, for chronic condition, however surgery is adviced.
Okay, we’ve all been to the Post Exchange to stand in front of a wall with those funny looking red, white, and blue signs with the pictures of feet on them. Sometimes you don’t need a sign to figure it out. Looking at ugly, bulky shoes? You’re standing in front of the “Flat Feet” wall. Staring at shoes that look decent or normal but there is never a normal size in stock? That’s the “Normal Arch” wall. By process of elimination, if you’re standing in front of some stylish overpriced running shoes, you’re standing in front of the “High Arch” wall.
If we were in an ideal world, I’m sure that most of us prefer to stroll to PT formation with no footwear. However, this would make us more prone to injuries. Shoes serve as protection and at the same time, contribute to running performance. To get your hands on the best running shoes, the next time you drag your feet through the Military Exchange Store or any athletic shoe store, think of these pointers:
1. Determine the form of your foot by taking a look at your foot print. The forms may be: a) neutral-arched, a curve along the sides of the foot connects to the heel and toe. b) mid-ached foot or flat foot, the prints reveal a minimal curvature along the outside of the foot. c) High-arched foot characterized by a thin band between the heel and the toe. I’m sure most services told you about your arch when you first joined the military. If not, do the paper bag test.
2. Select the shoes that would suit your foot type. Stability shoes are good for the neutral-arched foot. It provides support to the middle part of the foot. Motion-control shoes, those heavy, with dense midsoles fits best for the flat foot. And cushioned shoes, with soft midsole and curved shape are good for high-arched foot.
3. Stick on your own size. Determine if your shoes are tight or not before running. At least there would be half-inch allowance in your shoes to allow proper circulation the moment your feet swell. Be sure, the heel does not slide up or down when running or walking. Check for those ridiculous seems on the inside of your shoe. They sometimes contribute to blood under the toe nail.
4. When buying, test it well. To have a good preference, use the socks you often times use in running. Also, both feet don’t exactly measures the same, go by the size of the larger foot. And try to fit some shoes during the afternoon, when feet usually get swollen.
5. Unfortunately for us flat footed people, as far as running shoes, go for the function, not for the fashion.
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