Most people who start to run will experience niggling aches and pains somewhere in their body during the first four weeks. This is usually nothing serious - your body is adapting to the stresses that running places on it, so don't let it put you off. Remember, running is one of the best calorie and stress burners there is.
Good posture is very important when you run. If you don't slouch, your stomach will look flatter, your running style will improve and you'll experience fewer injuries. Breathing will also be easier too.
If you are unlucky enough to suffer a running injury the below information may be of use:-
Treatment of sprains and strains is often accomplished with the "RICE" method. If you are unsure of the severity of your sprain, strain or injury, talk to your doctor before beginning any treatment or rehab. The following is an explanation of the "RICE" method:-
The first 24-48 hours after the injury is considered a critical treatment period and activities need to be curtailed. Gradually use the inured extremity as much as tolerated, but try to avoid any activities that cause pain. Often using a splint, sling, or crutches is necessary to adequately rest the injured body part.
For the first 48 hours post injury, ice the sprain or strain 15 minutes at a time every 2-3 hours. The ice pack can be a bag of frozen vegetables (peas are ideal), cool box gel pack or simply crushed ice in a polythene bag. Do not put ice directly onto skin, wrap in a tea towel. Do not ice a sprain or strain for more than 15 minutes at a time, you will not be helping heal the injury any faster, and you can cause damage to the tissues.
You can use ice in other ways during rehabilitation. Firstly, you should reapply it if you feel twinges as you gently stretch out the injury on the subsequent days, and it can also be used as a massage medium which can ease apart scarred, healing tissues while the cooling effect continues to provide capillary contraction and prevent further bleeding. Ice is the most valuable, yet least used and understood, method of healing sports injuries.
Use compression when elevating a sprain or strain in early treatment. Using a bandage, wrap the area overlapping the elastic wrap. The wrap should be snug, but not cutting off circulation to the extremity. So, if your fingers or toes become cold, blue, numb or tingle, re-wrap!
Keep your sprain or strain elevated as best as possible - try to get it higher than your heart. Elevate at night by placing pillows under your injury. While it may not always be practical to elevate the limb, any time doing so is well spent and will aid recovery.
The RICE method (combined with anti-inflammatory drugs if desired) is the best immediate response to most injuries. Full rehabilitation requires considerable expertise, so if in doubt please seek professional advice.
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