MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The early spring weather means more people are out training. In fact, more people are running than ever before, and with the sport comes some pain and serious injuries.
Regions Hospital Rehabilitation Institute has seen an 86 percent increase in the number of people needing physical therapy from a running injury.
While those injuries used to fall with male runners, there’s been a shift towards female runners. Sixty percent of injured runners are females.
A lot of people are just taking running too far. They’re overtraining and the biggest injuries therapists are seeing are knee injuries.
Laura Erickson injured her left knee last fall. She’s been running for more than 20 years. But she was quite literally stopped in her tracks when her passion for running turned painful.
“I was a little bummed out and thought I was never be able to run again, depending on what the injury was,” she said.
Her physical therapist at Regions Hospital Rehabilitation Institute taped her running, to see how she lands.
Her pelvis isn’t level, and her left leg and knee rotate inwards.
“That’s what’s leading to the injury,” said physical therapist Lisa Zeman, who’s now correcting Erickson’s injury with therapy. “There’s a lot that goes into the training and even running technique that can reduce your chance of an overuse injury.”
Runners should remember a 10 percent mileage increase each week is the limit. Erickson injured herself taking it too far.
Also, remember to race and train at the level that you are comfortable with. Be honest with yourself.
Be sure you’re wearing the right shoe when you run, too. Zeman suggests visiting a running store to find it.
She also suggests keeping a log to tell how far you’ve been running and what time period you exercised.
“We want runners to run healthy and safely,” said Zeman.
Now, Erickson is feeling better and running again.
“I’m back up to 6 miles, and hoping to do a half marathon soon,” she said.
The pain is gone, but Erickson’s passion is certainly still there.