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Natalie’s Running Tips – Experiencing Aches and Pains – Part 2

17 Feb Posted by in Boot Camp | Comments
Natalie’s Running Tips – Experiencing Aches and Pains – Part 2

Many runners question when it’s best to use ice and when to use heat:

Ice is best if used immediately after the injury has occurred, when there is swelling and when the area is painful to move.  Applying ice will cause numbness and reduce pain.  Ice also constricts blood vessels and minimizes the inflammation response and swelling.  But since ice limits blood supply to the injured site which in the long run, may slow down the healing process, it’s best to use ice in the beginning stages of an injury and for only limited amounts of time.  Do not apply ice directly to the skin but instead, wrap the ice pack or cubes in a wet towel.

Heat can usually be applied to an area generally four to five days after the initial injury.  Heat increases local blood supply, bringing healing nutrients and cells to the damaged tissues and relaxing tight muscles.  Apply hot towels or heat packs for 10 to 15 minutes every few hours. Some runners will even use heating ointments such a BenGay before a run to help bring warmth to tight areas to enable them to get through a run pain-free.

It’s always a good idea to seek expert advice from a sports physician or a physiotherapist – they can often provide you with specific stretches or exercises to treat the problem and can often use various other techniques to reduce the pain and/or speed the recovery process.  Self-treatment, using the above RICE protocol, is a good starting point, but it’s wise to be safe rather than sorry and seek help.  Remember, that pain is your body’s warning signal that something is wrong.

And last, I’m a huge proponent of weekly body work so be sure to schedule yourself with a Massage Therapist .  It’s amazing what some deep tissue muscle release can do, especially when you are very active! Many runners also swear by using foam rollers to help release tight areas in the body.

Natalie Veras Fitness