Minnesota summers may be short, but they’re so mild, especially if you’re a runner who likes to enjoy quiet mornings or cool evenings while logging miles around the lakes. Maybe you’re training for the Twin Cities Marathon in early October, or maybe you find peace and meaning in the occasional jog. Whatever your running style, watch out for any unusual pops or clicks while you train – they could be your body’s way of telling you something is wrong and it’s time to slow down your pace or readjust your running style.

“Each step taken while running can generate two to five times your body weight in forces through the lower extremities, including the hips, specifically through the femur and acetabulum, or hip ball joint” , says Dr. Gregory. DeNunzio, DC, MS, BSME and Clinical Lead atSweere Center for Clinical Biomechanics and Applied Ergonomics at Northwestern Health Sciences University. “This alone can cause wear and tear damage to the hip joint, including the muscles, tendons and labrum. [the hip’s ring of cartilage].”

This can be especially problematic for female runners, who have smaller bone dimensions and reduced bone density compared to male runners. The menstrual cycle and potential vitamin deficiencies can also have an impact. “Any type of iron or vitamin D deficiency can weaken bones, so the menstrual cycle can also have an effect due to blood loss and low iron,” says Dr. DeNunzio. “Hormonal changes during the cycle, such as increased estrogen, can lead to increased laxity of ligaments and tendons, which can lead to lack of stability at the joint.”

Sweat and tears (labral)

What should you watch out for before, during and after your run? “In an age where more is better (supposedly!), overuse injuries can occur,” says Dr. DeNunzio. Pain in the front of the lower leg can be a sign of shin splints, which occur when tissue pulls away from the shin. A painful sensation on the outside of the hip is a telltale sign of bursitis in the hip joint.

If you notice sharp pains, watch out for labral tears. “Labral tears…can come and go depending on movement. The pain will be more towards the front of the hip and in the groin, but can also be to the side of the hip joint depending on the location of the tear,” says Dr. DeNunzio. “The cartridge that lines the acetabulum (hip socket) can tear and pinch in the hip joint, causing pain.”

Plantar fasciitis is another common problem among runners; pain in the heel or below may be due to tight calf or soleus muscles. While you can’t instantly connect plantar fasciitis to a hip problem, Dr. DeNunzio says they can be connected. “I mention plantar fasciitis and shin splints because sometimes trying to run with these conditions, especially if they’re mild, can lead to compensation which can lead to hip and lower back injuries,” he explains. he.

Get a doctor’s note

To help prevent unnecessary wear and tear and keep your body in optimal shape to put in those miles and keep up your pace, Dr. DeNunzio recommends a combination of strength training and diet, with a focus on a key vitamin to help to support bone health: vitamin D. . “Studies show that the vast majority of athletes are deficient in vitamin D,” he explains. Our bodies absorb vitamin D from the sun, but if you wear sunscreen (and you should!), you may not be getting enough from spending time outdoors. It can be difficult to get enough vitamin D from food alone, but you can find it through fortified foods and juices or consider supplementation. Just be sure to consult your health care provider before you begin.

Changing up your workouts regularly can be helpful in strengthening your body for your race. try mixing your daily jogs with regular strength training. “Train in different planes of motion so you can strengthen the whole joint,” says Dr. DeNunzio. “Strength training should include the upper body because it’s a running economy. The leaner muscle mass we have overall leads to more efficient use of oxygen. [Editor’s note: More on multiple plane training can be found here.]

When the weather changes and your workouts are indoors, reduce potential injuries by adjusting the treadmill as you run. “The only trend I’ve seen in my 27+ years of practicing and working with runners is during the winter months when I’m running on a treadmill,” Dr. DeNunzio shares. “The incline needs to be changed frequently throughout your run. By keeping the treadmill flat, the forces reproduce at the same points across the joints, effectively causing lower extremity repetitive motion injury.

Dr. DeNunzio also encourages runners to be more mindful of their steps as they run. “Tell yourself to land softly,” he says. “It’s a great way to absorb forces more efficiently. I have received great feedback from runners using only this signal.

The last prevention advice is the most important: rest! According to Dr. DeNunzio, a rest and recovery day does wonders for helping your body bounce back from tough workouts and long distances. If you skip your rest day, your muscles and joints don’t have a chance to repair themselves and you risk overdoing it or injuring yourself. According to Dr. DeNunzio, “The body needs time to recover so that you are strong again for your next run.”

Located in Bloomington, Northwestern University of Health Sciences is a premier integrative health institution that prepares the next generation of health professionals to deliver and advance health care, offering 11 areas of study. His clinics and TruNorth Wellness Center are open to the public to promote better and healthier lives for all. Bloomington Clinic specializes in care for the whole family, offering chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, massage therapy, naturopathic medicine, nutrition and cupping. Swere Clinic offers comprehensive care for complex pain conditions and trauma. The biomechanics laboratory and the human performance centerr support proper movement and recovery through gait analysis, rehabilitation, strength and conditioning.