The Great Birmingham Run and Running Injuries

The latest instalment of the Bupa running series arrives in Birmingham this weekend for only the third time. Thousands are expected to take to the streets of Birmingham, both professional and amateurs alike over the half marathon course.

The event was originally referred to as the Birmingham Half Marathon, with the inaugural event in 2008, followed by the incorporation of the World Half Marathon Championships in 2009. The event was later renamed the Bupa Great Birmingham Run ahead of 2011.

The current record for the men’s event stands at just over one hour, set last year, with the women’s fastest time standing at just over one hour and twelve minutes.

The course weaves across the city and takes in some of the most iconic landmarks Birmingham has to offer, including a charity cheering bus located between the fifth and sixth mile markers.

Both professionals and amateurs will have been preparing hard for the event and hoping to stay clear of running injuries, a problem encountered by every sportsman. Sometimes injuries are unavoidable and with only a few days left everyone will be hoping to make the start line for a gruelling thirteen miles around the city.

Different types of running injuries

Running injuries typically result from overuse where a person pushes themselves too far which leads to an injury, whether muscle or joint based. Each injury has a varying degree of severity attached which can result from a few days out of action to failing to make the start line.

Running injuries are primarily located in the lower body, whether ankle or knee joint complaints or strains or tears of the hamstring or calf. The hamstring for example, has three different grade of severity attached to it. A grade one injury should remedy itself within a few days, whereas a grade three can cause noticeable swelling and bruising and even require surgery to repair the muscle.

The main problem most runners face is the impact damage on the joints from running on concrete, which can lead to conditions such as osteoarthritis of the knee in the future. In the short term however common complaints include runners knee and shin splints.

Runners knee results from overuse, with many complaining of a grating sensation beneath the knee cap which can be very uncomfortable. A patient may also experience inflammation and will find running increasingly difficult, therefore rest is essential. Shin splints are set of running injuries sustained, with pain and inflammation located at the front of the leg along the Tibia. Pain can either strike during exercise or shortly afterwards, beginning as a dull ache. In both cases it is essential to stop training straight away to minimise the damage caused.

How to manage running injuries

The most important thing to remember following any injury is to stop what you are doing and rest. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to stop exercising, just rest the art which hurts. If you injure your ankle or knee running then you can still consider swimming or riding a bike as these involve a reduced amount of pressure on the lower joints and is a non-weight bearing activity.

The majority of running injuries picked up on the road are self-limiting and will heal within a few days. If things don’t start to get better then you should seek a professional diagnosis as further rehabilitation may be required, either in the form of physiotherapy or even surgery. Surgery on any injury is a last resort, though will require an extended period of time on the side lines.

Another option which you can consider in managing running injuries is the use of a sports brace or support, which are available for all manner of sports injuries from a sprained ankle to a runners knee to a shoulder injury. A sports brace is designed to offer the patient additional support during mobility, offering them the confidence to remain active. If you consider an ankle brace it can offer the patient compression to help manage inflammation and pain as well as additional level of support to prevent unnatural movements without hindering flexibility.

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