First and foremost you must hear every chance you can that RUNNING IS NOT BAD FOR US. Simply put there is no evidence to say that running is harmful for the human skeleton. That is right none. There is a monster wives tale that running is pounding and that pounding is bad for us. Truth is the pounding is GOOD for us. Our skeletons are hardwired biologically to respond to force. Wolfe's Law states that human tissue will respond to the force that is placed on it. Bones need pounding, tendons need tension, and cartilage needs sheer force or rubbing. The specialized forces make these tissues grow and get stronger. It is not uncommon to have a tendon problem that "feels better" with a brace. Sure the pain is less but by removing force from the tendon the problem stays there longer. The brace makes the problem stay there longer.
Running research is compounding weekly. There are very smart people world wide adding to the pile of evidence that all of us can benefit from the force of running. The area of biomechanics is exploding as technology get more advanced. High speed cameras, better force plates attached to treadmills, and better wiring for studying muscle firing are just a few. Based on this information we have baselines for rules of running. These rules are guidelines that successful runners are handling well and injured runners are struggling to learn. These guidelines are broad enough to catch non runners as well as very good runners. Running is fundamental to the human experience. Not only is the running the basis for every sport (except may be swimming or a few others) but it is built into our genes. We walk up right because we run. We have specialized musculature because we run. Out ancestors ran up to 20 miles a day. What happened to us? We got lazy. Convenience is a way of life, especially in America.
After over 100 continuing education hours in running and learning from the world wide leaders in medicine of running and elite training of runners, running literature has tremendously affected my practice of physical therapy. Every human has the same anatomy, they just use that anatomy differently. Running literature expresses the science of human performance at a very high level. When our skeleton is handling those types of forces than lesser forces are easy to handle. The answer is to do more. Unfortunately American medicine has a reputation for instructing us to do less. "Oh you shouldn't do that." Oh you should rest. Uh oh, thats not good for you. Simply not true. Usually an injury is a lifestyle check. The answer is to do more. Our skeletons need time to react appropriately to force but adding force is the idea, just dose it in smart. Interventions from the outside in like electricity, ultrasound, massage, ice/heat, and any other palliative treatment do not change how the inside of you handles force. Force is the problem. Running is not the problem, how you are doing the running (or not doing it), is the problem. If this post brings up questions chances are you are not the only one, share them. Feel free to start a comment thread and help me educate the Las Vegas running community. Feel free to stop by the clinic and ask questions I love the interaction. MVPT is open anytime for that. Happy Training!