Avoiding Running Injuries: Considerations for Older Runners

Maybe it was a gradual change, or maybe you can pinpoint the birthday you realized you weren’t the spry individual when you were in college.  As a member of the Austin running community, your love for road or trail running has kept many the health problems that cause pre-mature aging at bay. A recent Dutch study found that regular joggers’ risk of death decreased approximately 44% or lived 5 to 6 years longer than non-runners. Speaking more to keeping health problems at bay, a 2008 study conducted at Stanford followed 500 runners for two decades.   They found that older runners over the age of 50 had fewer disabilities and stayed active longer.  These runners had less cardiovascular and cancer deaths in addition to less incidence of other complications including infections and neurological diseases.

 

One unavoidable change that occurs in all of us is to the connective tissues that make up parts of tendon and muscle.   As we grow older, the muscles, tendons, and cartilage of our bodies retain less water.  This change can affect the action of these tissues and areas making them more prone to injury.  A ruptured Achilles is one such injury likely to occur because of a ‘watershed’ area where blood flow is already sparse, can be more prone to rupture. Regardless of your age, staying hydrated and making through stretching part of your running routing or even daily activity can do a lot to protect you.  As we get older, these steps become crucial to preventing injuries.

 

Realize that while some aches and pains that pass are just a consequence of experience, but that persistent aches may point to an underlying injury in progress. Understanding how your foot is structured and functioning as you run will help you to select the right running shoes and avoid debilitating injury.   You do not have to wait for aches and pains to occur before you visit your Austin podiatrist, an expert running doctor.  Our team at 5000 Bee Cave Road Suite 202 has the latest technology to assess your foot.  Using GaitScan® technology, we can identify pressure points and imbalances that can create problems.  A custom insert is a simple non-invasive way to keep your foot functioning properly and preventing injury no matter how young you are!

Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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