Running Tips from an Orthopedic Surgeon

Posted by Peter Crowell on Mar 25, 2015 12:38:42 PM

Einstein Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Minn Saing is the Medical Director for the Blue Cross Broad Street Run. MinnSaing_HeadshotHe offers these tips to keep you in top form:

Recognize Risk

Runners are most vulnerable to injury at certain times during their running careers:

  • Upon Initial Running – First 4-6 months
  • When returning to running after injury
  • When running longer distances
  • When running faster

Be Aware of Fixable Problems

Most running injuries are caused by recurrent issues that are often identifiable and preventable by the runner making some small changes.


Avoid Training Errors

These are the most common source of injury. Here are some common errors that many of us commit:

  • Lack of adequate pre-running stretching
  • Rapid changes in mileage
  • Increase in hill training
  • Interval training
  • Insufficient rest between training sessions


Choose the Right Shoes

Comfort is key. Consider the width of the toebox to accommodate your individual anatomy. Replace your shoe after 600 miles of use.


Consider the Running Surface

The ideal surface should be flat, resilient and relatively soft. Avoid Concrete or rough roads, use community running trails, and avoid hills when starting out to decrease the stress on knees and ankles. 


Watch the Weather

Understand the demands the come with variations in the weather. Consider these general principles: 

  • In warm and humid conditions, increase fluid intake. (Weigh before and after and consume 0.5 litres/lbs lost.)
  • Wear the proper attire in cold weather
  • Avoid extreme hot/cold
  • Check air pollution levels
  • At higher altitudes, allow time for acclimatization


Anatomy

Back – Most back pain is non surgical and will resolve with conservative management. Pain radiating down the leg should be evaluated by a physician

Hip – Most hip disorders show up as groin pain.

Knee – Most overuse knee injuries are patella related

Ankle – Recurrent ankle sprains could be related to ankle laxity

Foot – Problems in runners are related to foot type


Treating Runner Injuries

We treat the majority of running injuries with conservative management. This will include a combination of therapies, including:
  • Protection – Bracing/Splints
  • Rest
  • Ice to help with swelling and inflammation
  • Compression
  • Elevation


The addition of oral OTC or Rx antiflammatories may also be used. After a period of relative rest, the runner will be introduced back to running in an interval fashion.

If a runner experiences severe pain, swelling, loss of motion, or significant ambulatory dysfunction, the runner should seek consultation with a Sports Medicine Specialist.

Topics: Broad Street Run

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Perspectives highlights the expertise and services provided by the physicians, specialists, nurses and other healthcare providers at Einstein Healthcare Network. Through this blog, we share information about new treatments and technologies, top-tier clinical teams and the day-to-day interactions that reinforce our commitment to delivering quality care with compassion. Here, you will also find practical advice for championing your health and wellness.

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