Minor Problems Every Runner Deals With

Runners have several minor problems that they may have to deal with while training.  The following problems effect the novice runner to the elite runners.  The problems are usually more irritating that painful.

Blisters are really minor burns caused by friction.  They can be prevented by wearing properly fitted shoes.  At the first sign of a blister, cover the skin with moleskin or a bandage.  The individual should release the fluid by slicing the side of the blister, treat it with antiseptic, and cover with a band-aid.

Muscle soreness usually develops 24 hours after running.  It occurs in the muscles involved and may be due to microscopic tears in the muscle, connective tissue, or muscle fibers.  Muscle soreness usually occurs at the beginning of the season,  after a harder than usual workout, or a longer than usual workout.  I have experienced muscle soreness after running with someone who is significantly slower than me.  You can minimize the soreness by gradually increasing runs and stretching before running.  If you develop muscle soreness lightly stretch the area.

Muscle cramps are powerful involuntary muscle contractions.  Normally we tell our muscles when to contract and relax.  Cramps are the result of a muscle not relaxing.  Relief comes when the cramped muscle is stretched and massaged.  However that doesn’t remove the cause of the contraction.  Salt and calcium are both involved in the chemistry of a cramp/ contraction.  Cold muscles cramp more often so it is important to warm up properly before running.  During hot weather it is important to keep replacing salt and potassium.

Bone bruises usually occur on the bottom of a runners foot.  These bruises can be prevented by careful foot placement and  buying quality shoes.  A bruise can delay you running for several weeks.  There is no instant cure for a bruise, so preventing one is  best.

Ankle problems such as ankle sprains should be iced immediately.  If you ice the ankle immediately you have a better chance of running the next day.  Ankle wraps, lace up supports of tape help runners return after an ankle sprain while giving the weaken ankle support.  First aid for a sprained ankle in ice, compression and elevation.

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