Don’t Ignore Those Niggles!

Don’t Ignore Those Niggles!

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    At some point in every runner’s career there comes a time when you are limited by pain. Whether it be a small niggle or a serious injury, it often demands attention.

    From my experience the most common running injuries are ITBS (Iliotibial Band Syndrome) achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, runner’s knee, shin splints and ankle instability. None of these develop overnight and is thus an indication of negligence on the runner’s part.

    Pain is the body’s protective mechanism for survival. A harmful stimulus causes this unpleasant sensation of pain and if not attended to it can result in permanent damage. If we choose to ignore this message of pain, we intentionally override the body’s ability to protect us from further harm.

    There are a number of factors causing small niggles to become serious injuries, such as:

    • Too much too soon
    • Worn-out shoes
    • Insufficient stretching
    • Weakness in certain muscle groups
    • Setting unrealistic goals
    • Poor technique
    • Difficult terrain

    The body is a complex network of chains that connects us from head to toe. Therefore, an injury in one link of the chain can cause pain further down which may seem unrelated at the time. Once you ignore this, the injury becomes very complex and difficult to treat.

    In our modern society there is a plethora of qualified people available to help you address any of these obstacles, but it remains your responsibility to seek help.

    Ignorance is in fact NOT bliss, and it will only delay the recovery process. Prevention is always better than cure. Act proactively!

    Lené van Heerden
    As a physiotherapist Lené works with people in all walks of life, taking part in almost any and every type of physical activity. More often than not they find themselves in more pain than what you can ever imagine. Working with these people energizes her, but it is also poses a great challenge. Through this she has learnt a lot about the prevention and management of injuries. Lené will be providing trail runners with valuable tips and techniques to avoid injuries and to enhance their performance on the trails! Trail Running is my ticket to switching off my phone, getting dirty and experiencing nature the way it was intended.