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Posted at: Aug 2, 2015, 12:52 AM; last updated: Jul 29, 2015, 7:45 PM (IST)

Don’t run on hard surfaces

Jog in parks or on grass as running on solid surfaces like concrete or on roads can give you knee problems
Don’t run on hard surfaces
If you continue to experience pain while running on a hard surface, see your doctor. Thinkstock

Anil Arora

Running is routine for few but a passion for some. Running gives you advantages like strengthening of heart and lungs and burning calories to help you maintain your health. But running can put repetitive strain on your body, starting from your feet all the way to your lower back, and can cause aches and pains. This can be especially true if you run on hard surfaces, such as concrete.

We generally blame the shoes, if we suffer problem from running (after or during). Shoes are the main equipment for running activities or for any other sports. But we should know that shoes are not the thing responsible, when it comes to running injuries. It may be caused by running on hard surfaces also. Continuously striking of feet to the ground can give impact through your feet to your knees, hip and lower back. If you run for a long time on a hard surface chances of injuries are high. Running involves your feet repetitively striking the ground, absorbing shock through your foot to your knees, hips and lower back. When your feet strike a hard surface like concrete, the ground does not absorb any of the shock; instead, this vibration is reflected up through the foot at a greater intensity than if you were running on a surface like an indoor track intended for running or a treadmill. Over time, the impact from running on hard surfaces can translate into increased injury risk.

Hard surface runs can lead to inflammation like Achilles tendonitis,( a condition where the tendon that connects the heel bone to lower leg becomes inflamed, causing heel pain), inflammation of the tendons and muscles in the front and outside of the leg, the knees cap and the lower leg bone, or tibia. Sometimes repetitive impact also can lead to stress fractures in the small bones of the foot or ankle, which can ultimately result in breakage. Changing your running surface, “is much like increasing your mileage, changing your shoes or some other aspect of your training program.” Abrupt changes can be risky so notice your problems first before going on any coclusion.

If you are getting pain while or after running, take rest and apply ice packs the affected area. Walk before you run - before you engage in a strenuous high impact activity such as jogging or running, try walking for a week. Warm up before working out. Give your body a chance to recover from exercise. If you do high impact activities take every other day off. Avoid running up and down stairs and full squats. Doing knee exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles that support the knee are vital for knee pain and injury prevention. Proper footwear is also important, especially if walking or running on hard surfaces. Keep your weight under control. Reducing one's weight reduces stress upon the knee. You may take some anti-inflammatory medication. Rest, better option is to run on treadmill, indoor track or gym floor built to absorb shock. Purchasing new shoes with supportive heel or heel pad also may help your feet better absorb shock from hard surfaces. One can also add an additional silicon insole nowadays available in the market (at shoes shops or the chemist.

If you continue to experience pain while running on hard surfaces after two to three weeks of home treatment, see your doctor. Pain that seems to be getting worse or developing additional symptoms also can indicate the need to see an orthopedic . He can evaluate you to ensure your pain is not because of an underlying condition that must be treated using medications, physical therapy or surgery.

Do appropriate warm up before workout. Emphasize on knee strengthening exercises. Doing knee extension also helps to take care of other body parts.

—The writer is an orthopedic, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj, Delhi

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