Why do runners get injured? Part 2: Improper Form

Have you ever watched a video of yourself running? Chances are, probably not….but you should! 

Form is derived from a runner’s strengths, weaknesses, past injuries, and neural-derived habits. However, form goes even further than our body’s history. Different types of runners exhibit different movement patterns, for instance, a sprinter will have by nature and demand a very different form than a distance runner.

Correcting movement inefficiencies while running helps you avoid injury and overuse type syndromes. More efficient running means you can go faster with less effort and minimize the chance of injury. Many runners, both new and experienced, set big goals for training only for those plans to be derailed by an injury, likely due to their form or training errors.

It’s important to note that everyone runs differently. This is because everyone is built differently structurally. So, it’s doubly important to understand that if you are trying to adjust your form, you shouldn’t try to mimic that of someone else, especially someone who is training to run for a different competition than you. Now, where should you start?

First, try to get someone to videotape you while you are running (because trying to record yourself will be impossible!) Get yourself from all sides – front, side, back, and the other side. This video will help you see your movement patterns and will be helpful for step number two! Second, schedule an appointment with a professional, especially if you are experiencing some type of pain or discomfort during your training regimen. During an appointment with Dr. Christine Foss, she will analyze your entire body while you walk, run and jog and also perform a physical exam to fully examine any possible underlying issues that may result in improper form that could lead to injury. This evaluation is extremely comprehensive. You and Dr. Foss will discuss your training goals, current training plan and suggested changes or modifications.

Remember, TAKE IT SLOW! You cannot change your form overnight. Small adjustments from different shoes, to different running routes and a physical exam in our office can put you on a path to better performance and a lower risk of injury. Now is the time to break through your performance plateaus and increase efficiency, all while keeping your body safe!

Call 973-616-4555 or schedule your appointment with Dr. Christine here.