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  • Writer's pictureDr. de Castro

Is Pain Stopping You From Getting Your Runner's High?

Running is one of the most common, and easiest, forms of exercise to do.

It isn't hard to get into, just need some running shoes and motivation!

But it can be hard on the body, and injuries like plantar fasciitis or shin splints can get in the way!

So how do we prevent these injuries? And if they do happen, how can we make them go away so you can get back to pounding the pavement?

Prevention Tips

  • If you're new...don't go too hard, too quickly! Gradually building up your distance and speed is best so your body has a chance to adapt. A general rule is the rule of 10%, do not increase you mileage by more than 10% on a week to week basis. But keep in mind, that might be too much still! A recent study showed that runners who only increased their mileage by 3% a week had a much higher rate of success in their upcoming races than runners who ramped up their mileage quicker. Listen to your body, and use an app like MapMyRun to track your mileage.

  • Do not run through pain. Some discomfort may be normal, especially some soreness afterwards. However, if there is significant pain while running it may be time for a break and to get assessed. Your body is trying to tell you something, best to listen! If you continue to push you may develop chronic injuries.

Things to think about...

  • Cadence (Stride Length): If you are having pain, looking at your stride may help. Some studies show that longer strides can increase ground reaction force, which can lead to micro trauma and injury. Try shorter runs with shorter strides to see if your pain changes.

  • Warming Up: Dynamic warm ups are great tools for most activity. Some ideas that are good for running include:

1. Forward Lunges

2. Side Lunges

3. Body Weight Squats

4. High Knee walking

5. Single leg deadlifts

  • Cool Down: After your run, it will be important to perform some stretching and foam rolling to help your muscles recover. You can use any of your favorite stretches but plan to spend at least 15-20 minutes stretching.

Recovery Tips

  • Keep hydrated

  • Fuel your body with whole foods

  • Integrate other forms of exercises like strength training

  • Rest and good quality sleep

  • Regular preventive maintenance care at a multidisciplinary clinic like Movement Performance and Health

If pain is already present, and you are completing the above recommendations, getting your pain assessed is the next step. Common injuries in runners include stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, knee pain, hip pain and low back pain. A comprehensive workout up can be done and treatments to help include chiropractic, acupuncture, massage and customized orthotics!

Book your assessment now at and ensure nothing gets in the way of your goals!

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