How to Treat Injuries Sustained From Running
Many injuries are nothing more than slight pains. A minor twist of the ankle from rough ground, a pulled leg muscle because you have not warmed up and so on. For many of these injuries then medical intervention is probably not needed and in a lot of cases, the problem is so minor the doctors can do nothing for you.
Obviously, a recurring injury or a serious injury, such as a stress fracture, a break or a severe sprain, needs treatment and checking over at the hospital. But once they have patched you up then you still need to consider treating it properly within your running.
On the whole, most minor running injuries can be treated under the RICE formula:
Rest - rest from running. I take this further than some in order to prevent recurring injuries. If the injury is still sore at any point today, then today and tomorrow must be days off running. Always make sure that you give yourself a full day of pain free rest before restarting running. That way, you know it is healed. And the same goes for any bandaging. If you feel it needs to be bandaged then it is not healed fully. Give the injury a full day out of the bandage before you begin running again.
Ice - applying an ice pack to the injured area can reduce any swelling and help it to recover more quickly.
Compression - a suitably sized compression bandage can also help your injury, but only wear it in the daytime. Don't think that just because you have a compression bandage on a sprained ankle you can run. If you need the bandage then refer back to the rest stage.
Elevation - if your sprained ankle or whatever you have done is swollen, then sitting down and elevating the injured part will help to drain the excess fluid and increase your recovery.
Sadly, many people try to rush running injuries and this can lead to more problems in the future when injuries have only partly healed. The correct resting of the injury is a must. Get out your bike or go for a swim instead if you are keen to be on the go, but allow time for it to recover.
The problem then comes on more serious injuries, which have laid you low for 14 days or more without training. The problem there is a lot of your body's tuning for running has been undone. So if you are out with an injury for 2 weeks or more then do not just go back to training where you left off, build up gradually again.
And lastly, identify why you were injured. Did your training increase too quickly? Are your shoes worn out? Were you running on poorly lit ground? Whatever the problem, fix it and avoid future injuries!