Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grandparenting.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Recover from a Running Injury with RICE

Running injuries are a nuisance and can sideline a runner - sometimes for months. An injury differs from fatigue and soreness. It can usually be linked to an incident like a stumble or sudden onset of pain and should be handled differently than general soreness after a workout. Beginning runners need to be aware that some injuries can be treated with self care, while others may need the assistance of a medical professional. Rest is often the best remedy. It's also one of the hardest for runners. We tend to panic that our fitness level is waning during recovery.

Fortunately, there is a formula for treating injuries at home that will be effective in most cases. RICE is an acronym for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. RICE is an important part of working through running induced injuries. Much of the discomfort from injuries is a result of swelling and inflammation. RICE will help you combat those.

Rest -

If you think you have suffered a running induced injury the first step is to take time off. Difficult? Yes! You were just about to step up your training level by increasing your mileage and now you may have to start all over! Can't you just tough it out? You might - but you might also aggravate the injury and prolong recovery. If you must remain active, find an alternate activity such as swimming or cycling. 

Ice -

Applying cold to an inflamed area will help reduce pain and swelling. Cold compresses, or ice packs, should be applied several times daily for the first 2 -3 days during recovery. For foot and lower leg injuries, soak feet in a bucket of ice water. Zipper bags with water and ice cubes make a quick ice pack, as do packages of frozen vegetables such as peas. Heat can be applied after a couple of days.

Ice treatments can also aid in recovery from fatigue and soreness associated with everyday workouts.

Compression -

Compression can also reduce swelling and support the injured area to prevent further damage. Use caution when applying wraps and Ace bandages as a wrap that is too tight can create additional swelling issues. Click here for wrapping instructions.

Compression socks or sleeves come in an array of colors and styles. They are ready to use and can give support to legs or joints. Just PULL them on.

Kinesio taping is another method of compression and support that works for some. I've had good experience with it, as well as, mediocre results. Be sure to learn how to apply it for the injury you want to treat.

Elevation -

Elevation is another method to reduce swelling. Keeping the affected area above the heart will prevent blood from pooling around the injury. Since you are taking time off, use this opportunity to read a good book, catch up on your social media, or even write your own book! Relax on the sofa and prop your leg (you injured it running, correct?) on a stack of pillows.

Remember, RICE is recommended for treating minor injuries at home. If you don't see improvement in your running injury quickly, seek the help of a medical professional, preferably one that is also a runner who understands your need to get back on the road. The good news is that most running injuries can be cured. You can recover and be on your way.

Do you have a recovery tip that helps keep you healthy and on the move? Please share it in the comments below.

Happy Running!
- Carol aka Running Granny Green
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