Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Running Injuries

Caption: Everyone knows the benefits of running – it's fuss-free and a great way to get in shape. But coincidentally, it can be one of the more physically damaging exercises as compared to swimming or cycling. Dr Pauline Leong, Head of the Physiotherapy Department at Sengkang General Hospital (SKH), shares why you shouldn't just brush aside running injuries. (iStock photo)

The incidence of running related injuries is between 19 to 85 per cent and this rate has not decreased appreciably in the last 30 years. The issue is that by the time some joggers realise that excessive running is doing more harm to their bodies than good, they would have already sustained injuries that require costly and painful treatments.

When running injuries worsen, so will recovery time

"Often, these patients think the pain – especially to their j oints – is part of the rigour of the sport," says Dr Pauline Leong, Head at the Department of Physiotherapy at Sengkang General Hospital (SKH), a member of the SingHealth group. "What they don't realise is that as the injury worsens, so do their chances of recovery through simple rehabilitation."

Some joggers may even take on a new challenge like aiming to complete a full marathon without considering the amount of time needed to train properly.

Related article: Taking part in a marathon or keen to? Check out our training plan and tips

Studies have shown that behaviours such as time urgency, ambitiousness, training impulse and competitiveness have been associated with an increased risk in injury. Additionally, people with unresolved previous injuries (unrelated to running) sustained more injuries.

Related article: Your guide to preventing common running injuries

Injuries are just the tip of the iceberg. There have been well-publicised cases of otherwise healthy joggers having a sudden heart attack while pounding the pavement. Some have even resulted in death.

Still, the benefits of running far outweigh its health hazards. For Pauline, it's about knowing the health risks that are associated with running, and how to mitigate them. "More importantly, it's about knowing yourself and being realistic about your run targets," she adds.

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