When the winter comes and you’re getting ready to trade those summer running shoes for your more sturdy winter pair, any negative thoughts regarding heading out on icy trails may not be foremost in your mind. The feeling of running in the cool winter wind can be enticing, and the knowledge that your trails, so often crowded in the summer months, will likely be yours and yours alone, can be enough to make you forget about the threat of those slippery slopes. But just wait. When you get out there and sustain a winter running injury – an all too common occurrence –proper treatment will be essential.
Any seasoned runner should know that running in the winter comes with a whole host of additional opportunities for injury, and as such, needs to be approached a bit differently than your summer running regimen. Clothing type, stretching, goals, etc., are all things that change with the changing seasons. For example, increasing speed and distance are often not advised in the winter months, and warming up is often suggested as an indoor activity when it gets colder, rather than outdoors in the summer.
So, you’ve prepped yourself as much as possible, but that icy patch was unavoidable (often because it went unnoticed), and you’ve sustained a running injury. What now?
Attending a running injury clinic is often the best place to start. Since every individual running injury is unique, by starting with a thorough assessment of your situation and pain, a registered sports medicine physician can better determine the best route to take to return you to your peak. This assessment will include a running shoe analysis, a treadmill running assessment, and a computerized gait analysis to help develop that customized recovery plan.
Once that plan is in place, what kind of treatment might you expect? Well, depending on the type of injury, its location, and its severity, treatment may include:
- Physical therapy to reduce pain and inflammation
- Strength training exercises to help build up the muscles in the injured area.
- A custom knee brace to help reduce pressure and tension on the knee.
- Custom orthotics to deal with foot pain.
In addition to these few treatment methods, various other forms may be used – with the added benefit of not only treating your running injury, but also preparing you for an injury-free future.
Don’t let a winter running injury hold you back from doing what you love. For more winter running tips or to seek treatment for a running injury, please contact Athletic Edge Sports Medicine today by calling 416 800 0800 or visit www.aesmphysiotherapytoronto.ca.