The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the magpies have settled, it’s time to dust off the runners and get ready for another stellar running season!
Running season for most, typically starts around October and will go through until March. It is during this time, as Podiatrists we see a spike in soft tissue related injuries – WHICH ARE PREVENTABLE!
Soft tissue injuries are typically multifactorial, meaning multiple reasons contribute to why the injury has occurred. As health professionals with extensive training we understand and address the causative factors that relate to your injury, thus helping you in both the short term while also reducing your risk of the same injury recurring in the future.
Here are our top tips for being proactive in reducing your risk of injury this running season.
How old are your runners? Manufacturers will say that the lifespan of a pair of runners is 600-800 km. If you’re unsure – best to update.
Do your runners suit your biomechanics? Every pair of runners on the market will influence your biomechanics in either a positive or negative way. Barefoot, minimalist, pronation controlling, zero drop, maximalist... are these terms new to you? If so your runners should be fitted by a specialist who understands lower limb biomechanics and how a shoe can influence it.
What shoes do you wear on a daily basis? Typically we spend 40+ hours in our day-day shoes and comparatively only 3-5 hours in our runners. Poor footwear day-day can lead to excessive fatigue in your lower limb soft tissues, so that when you do go for a run, your muscles are already fatigued to begin with and cannot give 100%. This increases the chance of injuries developing.
Do you have any niggling injuries carrying over from past running seasons? A lot of runners often begin the running season without addressing any niggles from the season before. A rest over winter often doesn’t cure these symptoms and sore muscles are often the sign of weak muscles. See a Health Professional and spring in to your running season niggle free!
Have you got your training program sorted? Are you incorporating progressive overload and allowing for adaptation time? A proper training program is one of the simplest ways to reduce your risk of injury this season. Many runners believe that they could run 10km ‘easily’ and with 4 months off do the same. Don’t make that mistake. Start off small and build slowly and progressively, seek a Health Professional or running coaches advice for tips and tricks if uncertain.
What is Dry Needling?
Dry Needling involves multiple advances of an acupuncture-type needle into the ‘trigger point’ of the muscle. The aim is to achieve a twitch in the muscle, which is associated with reduced muscle tension and pain.
What will I experience?
Initially the practitioner administering the treatment will briefly massage the target muscle body searching for taught bands and tender areas aka 'trigger points'. The needle then used is very thin, and you may or may not feel the needle enter your skin. If the muscle being needled is very tight and/or sensitive you will feel a cramping or twitch sensation. This is very short-lasting, and patients quickly learn to recognise this sensation as therapeutic as it is followed by a feeling of pain relief and muscle relaxation.
Are there any side effects?
The most common side effect is temporary muscle soreness after the treatment. This typically lasts for a day or two, and your clinician will instruct you on how to minimise this. There are other less common side effects such as bruising. If you have any questions about side effects, please discuss this with your clinician.
How does Dry Needling help?
Dry Needling helps to reduce pressure on the nerve by releasing muscle shortening. It is now well researched that the ‘twitch’ response in the muscle during dry needling is associated with the muscle relaxing and stopping the pull on adjacent areas.
How often will I need treatment?
Treatments are typically once a week, to allow enough recovery time between treatment sessions. However, this can vary. The number of treatments you will require will depend on many things, such as:
• How long you have had your problem
• The extent of your problem
• How long it takes to address the contributing factors
• How quickly your body can heal
Are there any contraindications to Dry Needling?
Prior to treatment please inform your clinician if you are pregnant, or have any of the following:
• Metal allergies
• Local infection
• Bleeding disorders or use anti-coagulants (eg. aspirin)
• Axillary or inguinal node dissection
• Joint replacements, implants or a pacemaker
• Needle phobia
At Peak Performance Podiatry, our Podiatrist Evan is certified by GEMt in application of Dry Needling within the lower limb. For further information about Dry Needling, how it may help you, or to book a consult with our Podiatrist book online or phone 02 5926 3806.
The Pod Blog
Our Podiatry Blog is here to help you stay up to date with preventive foot care tips and tricks, the latest in evidence based treatments, footwear trends and how you can self manage common conditions affecting the feet and lower limbs.
Evan Feather [BPodMed]