If you’re a regular runner, you likely have been told the importance of stretching before and after your run. Many people do not like stretching and often feel guilty when they are sore after running and they may feel their lack of stretching is at fault. Do not worry, the research on stretching is very misleading and there is a lack of consensus on to its actual benefit. If you do not stretch before you run, that’s ok. You are better off doing a good warm up first of slow running and dynamic exercises or heel kicks, high knees and hip rotations.
As a runner you’ve probably experienced the pain that comes along the next day if you have pushed too hard or hadn’t recovered from a previous work out. Stretching can be useful at this point because it works as an analgesic. Sore hips, knees, quads, calves and hamstrings are all common areas that feel ‘tight’ and restricted after a good workout. Slow gentle stretching where you do not push too far can be helpful symptomatically.
In the absence of an injury, slow, low heart rate aerobic activities are the best strategy to recover from the pain felt post workout or race. Walking, cycling, swimming, or even a short easy run will help to soften up the soreness in the legs and joints of the hips, knees and ankles.
Regular massage therapy is very useful to help runners feel their best. Massage therapy can help restore feelings of flexibility and greater range of motion and most importantly it can decrease the sensations of pain and stiffness that occurs in runner’s bodies. Massage therapists are trained in assessing and treating injuries that are common with runners. Pain associated with problems in the Achilles tendon, plantar fascia, patellofemoral problems, shin splints, IT band, hip and knee are all common and treatable. With early intervention, our massage therapy treatments can stop a small problem from becoming a major one. Taking prolonged time away from running is not desirable and it is not always necessarily needed to recover from an injury. With a proper assessment and treatment plan our massage therapists can treat you and have you on an active recovery plan to maximize your ability to have you feeling better and have you returning back to running pain free as soon as possible.
Our massage therapists at Achieve Health are experienced, educated, and committed to helping runners and athletes of all levels, recreational and elite, to achieve their best possible capabilities of performance and wellness.