Injury Prevention for Runners

It is officially spring and that means the beginning of race season for runners in Calgary. There are events every weekend over the next several months which means runners have been ramping up their training with increasing mileage and intensity. Following a well thought out training plan is important to get you across the finish line but that doesn’t just mean more pounding the pavement. To have your best running season, you need to consider some injury prevention strategies.

 Strength training has been found to reduce the incidence of over-use running related injuries such as Iliotibial Band Syndrome, shin splints and Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (runner’s knee) Adding in a few specific core and lower extremity exercises 2-3x per week will allow you to improve or maintain proper mechanics while you run. Incorporating a few minutes of daily foam rolling will help by reducing the formation of adhesions and increasing the blood flow to the tissue. Also, stretching or yoga will help you to maintain range of motion that is required to move through a normal gait pattern.  Holding poses in yoga challenges your balance that can improve foot strength and proprioception both of which are particularly important for trail runners.

When it comes to shoes, a recent study recommended using at least two different pairs of running shoes for training to reduce your incidence of injury. Different shoes cause your foot muscles to work in different ways. It also allows the properties in the shoe to recover from compression of the foam or letting the upper dry out after a wet run.

There is nothing more disappointing than putting in months of training only to sit out on race day because of an injury. An overuse running related injury is described as an injury that causes you to reduce frequency, speed, distance or duration for more than one week. Research estimates between 50-70% of runners will sustain an overuse injury each year. The best predictor of getting injured is having a previous injury.  By incorporating some strength training, stretching and/ or foam rolling as well as changing up your shoes can help you to beat the statistics.  If you notice discomfort or pain that is holding you back for more than a few runs, connect with me so I can help you crush your next race.

Embracing Change

Most of us are creatures of habit. We like our routines. We like things that feel familiar and easy. I am no different. I like everything in a specific place. I write a lot of lists and I always follow a schedule. Reading this, you should have already assumed that I am type A so change can be hard. Recently I decided to make a huge change to my work life. I owned LivActiv Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation and for the past five years, it has been my third baby. It was the result of my passion to provide outstanding physiotherapy services, my desire to collaborate with other inspirational clinicians and my need to work in an environment that makes me happy.

Then on March 31st, I closed the doors and relocated my practice to join Innovative Sport Medicine. The first question people ask is why. There was so much thought put into this decision and even more reasons why, but to sum it up in one statement: I needed to make a change. Change can be hard and scary and unsettling but I am going into this with an open-mind and positivity. I decided to make a change while I have some control rather than waiting until something unexpected comes along and takes me for a potentially unnerving ride. I expect bumps along the road but with a solid plan, I have the opportunity to experience something potentially even better.

Don’t get me wrong, it has been tough to let something go that I was so proud of creating. There have been moments when I think I have made a mistake but life is an adventure. There will be days when I take two steps forwards and one step back but I am grateful for this opportunity to grow and experience something new. Without change life gets dull, so I challenge you to shake it up and try something different.

You can find Shari providing physiotherapy and gait analysis services at Innovative Sport Medicine: Mayfair. Continue to check out this website and instagram (@livactivcalgary) for information and exercises regarding injury prevention, health and wellness.

Don't Let OA Scare You From Staying Active!

Don't Let OA Scare You From Staying Active!

Osteoarthritis (OA) or degenerative arthritis is a common condition familiar to many.  In fact one out of three of us have a chance of developing OA.  It is defined as the breakdown of articular cartilage which further affects the underlining bones and joints.  The most commonly affected joints include the hips, knees, feet, hands and spine.  OA can be caused by trauma, metabolic disease, congenital malformations and in some cases the cause is unknown.  Clinical signs include pain, decreased range of motion (reduced flexibility), increased crepitus or cracking and occasionally joints can appear red and warm

Take your Medicine

Take your Medicine

What if I told your there was a medicine available that treats and prevents over 30 chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, depression and Alzheimer’s disease. Not only that, but this medicine could also make you smarter, happier, thinner, younger and generally feel better about your ability to handle all the physical and psychological pressures life throws at you. This medicine does have some limited side effects, but strangely, most people start liking the feeling of the side effects as they use the medication more and more. And to top it all off, this medicine was free.

If this medicine actually existed, you would beg me to tell you where you could get it. You would line up for miles to get your hands on it. It sounds like the medicine to cure all ills and you would want it, not just for you, but for your friends and family as well. If only this medicine existed…

But it does…Exercise IS this medicine!

A Leaky Gasket

A Leaky Gasket

Does this happen to you?  You are out for drinks with friends and a joke is told and suddenly it's not so funny because, well, because you leaked a little?  Or maybe you are like a friend of mine who said, no I don't really leak - except if I drink anything when I am running. Or like most moms, who will NEVER get on a trampoline again. Well, you are not alone.