People enjoy walking or running for a number of reasons. For many it’s a simple form of exercise. For some it’s about ‘the freedom of the road‘ and ‘being at one with nature‘. While others find it an effective way to decrease stress.
Walking or running helps condition the body and improve blood circulation. Regular walking is associated with a healthier heart and a greater sense of well being. For those who like to run the right running technique combined with appropriate footwear helps minimise injuries.
When you work with your physiotherapist you can expect to learn the right movement techniques in order to minimise strain on your muscles and joints. Physiotherapists can also help runners increase muscle strength and improve joint range of motion. This helps to decrease stress on the runner’s body and improves overall performance.
The mechanics of motion
If you plan on stepping outside to walk or run expect your physiotherapist to teach you the right ‘mechanics of motion’. With the proper walking and running technique, you can avoid injury and improve your muscular endurance. Here are a few things to consider:
- The right degree of flexion in your knees and elbows is important to reduce strain on your joints.
- Posture is important. In fact your entire technique is dependent upon your posture for efficiency and safety.
- An appropriate range of motion helps minimise injuries and improve your running technique.
- Proper rhythm or cadence, will help you to minimise injury by eliminating unnecessary overuse of your muscles.
- Coordination between your upper and lower body is also an important aspect of running technique.
- Proper stride length is an important aspect of efficiency and injury prevention
Each of these components plays a vital role in your running technique. As you progress with each component you can expect an improvement in your strength, efficiency, distance and possibly even your speed.
Injury prevention with physiotherapy
Your physiotherapist can identify muscle imbalances and improper joint alignments. Your physiotherapist will conduct a detailed evaluation which includes an analysis of your gait, foot alignment, upper body strength, hip and spine alignment. With an adjustment to your running technique and correction of muscle imbalances your therapist will get you on your feet so that you can walk (and possibly run) if your body allows it. We suggest that the best thing for you to do right now is to contact us and ask for an evaluation of your movement patterns before you start a new walking or running program. We can help you plan ahead and prevent injuries. We can also create a rehabilitation program if you are currently experiencing any discomfort while you are walking or running.
Your body deserves the right kind of care and we can help you. Let us help you prepare for your next journey.