Of all sports, the general impression is that racing is the easiest to perform. After all, it’s a natural movement, you tend to think, just show a bit of “leg strength” and some breath and the game is done.
But this is not really the case, even track running requires some useful measures to avoid problems and disorders generated by the movement, as Dr. Luca Usai, Orthopedist at the Operative Unit of Orthopedics and Traumatology and the Outpatient Orthopedic Department for Cartilage and Sport at Humanitas Gavazzeni Bergamo emphasizes.
What should be done before starting a running activity that does not cause problems?
If you decide to start running in a methodical and continuous way, it is better to undergo a preventive visit to a sports doctor to see if running is an activity suitable for your body. This is an examination that makes it possible to evaluate the postural set-up of the athlete, to verify whether or not there are predispositions of the skeleton or muscles that may lead to more serious injuries after repeated micro-traumas”.
What are the “physical defects” that can cause discomfort in runners?
They are different and may relate to different parts of the body. We often have to deal with amateur runners who experience pain on their feet. It is important to check how they place their feet on the ground during running. In some cases, people tend to pronounce, or make a rotation towards the inside, or rotate towards the outside at the moment of support. They are paraphysiological attitudes when walking, but implementing them while running continuously and for a long time they can cause inflammation of tendon, joint and cartilage structures, which can become chronic over time. Knowing the characteristics of one’s feet is therefore fundamental to the choice of footwear to adopt. At the time of purchase it is important to take into account the technical characteristics of the footwear rather than their aesthetic appearance, which must be suitable for the type of support the subject requires”.
Even the knees and hips are subjected to strong stress during track running…
Yes, and it is important to check that there are no situations that could lead to accidents. A knee that has an axial deviation – launching, “legs in parentheses”, or valgus, “X legs” – may be predisposed to various types of lesions depending on the joint area that is overloaded. The same applies to hips that have an irregular trim, or for cases where there is a difference in the length of the lower limbs (asymmetry). These are conditions that must be assessed by a specialist and it is important, in cases where there is no clear contraindication to sports practice, that the subject adequately prepares the musculature to compensate for the stresses to which the joints are subjected during the race “.