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Get a Runners High, Not an Injured Low

Have you ever gone for a long run and felt a rush of energy? This is commonly referred to as "runners high". People often turn to soda, coffee, and energy drinks for this energy boost, but it can easily be acquired through running. Along with this increased energy you can accomplish more in a day in a healthy way.

"Runners high" is caused by the increased production of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are chemicals released in the brain that give you a feeling of well-being and diminishes senses of pain. This feeling doesn't only result from running; it can also be achieved through other types of exercise. "Runners high" can be an immediate result of physical activity resulting in more productivity, more restful sleep at night, and an overall happier existence.

With a decreased sense of pain during a run, the runner may often push themselves past their bodies limit without knowing at the time. Injuries can occur due to overexertion. Aches and pains are one of the less painful injuries that can occur from pushing yourself too hard. Often times, regardless of how careful you are, you will experience soreness the day after a run.

Patellofemoral Pain syndrome, also known as Runners Knee, is a common problem occurring from overexerting yourself during a run. A symptom of this is pain under and surrounding the knee cap. This can occur from rolling in or down on the foot while running. One way to decrease this knee pain is to take a break from running. Give yourself a day or two of rest, and then gradually increase the amount of time you are running. If you start to feel pain again take another break and start again with a slow run after a few days.

Icing your knees is also a good way to decrease pain and to speed up the healing process. After a run ice the knee for 10-15 minutes with a towel wrapped around the ice pack. Ibuprofen can also help to temporarily relieve discomfort.

Often times these methods of relieving the pain are only temporary. Talking to a podiatrist about running shoes can help your pains. Cheap running shoes are good for your wallet but are not helping your body to cope with the stress running puts on it. Talk with a podiatrist about running shoes that they recommend.

Orthotics are also very helpful to give your feet the support that they need during running. It's important to build a strong foundation for your body, especially during physical activity. If you don't have that strong foundation you may develop knee, hip, back, and shoulder pain, just from not having the proper support. An orthotic is a shoe insert that helps to give your body support and correct the way you walk or run. There are custom made orthotics that are molded to your feet and over the counter orthotics that are matched to your foot type as close as possible.

Running is a great way to stay in shape and be a happier more productive individual. It is so important to keep a close watch on what is stressing your body. Many of the problems that arise from running begin with your feet. It's crucial to see a podiatrist to discuss the type of shoe gear you need so you can run pain free.

Copyright (c) 2010 Mitchell Wachtel DPM