Each year, many joggers contend with overuse injuries such as tendinitis, muscle strains and stress fractures. “These often are caused by jogging too far or too fast or by not stretching or warming up correctly,” says Michael G. Kogan, MD, an Orthopedic Surgeon with Sherman Health.
To reduce your risk for injury, Dr. Kogan recommends warming up and stretching before your jog. Do jumping jacks or walk in place for three to five minutes. Follow with stretching exercises to loosen the hamstring, groin, thigh and calf muscles. Repeat these exercises after your jog.
STRENGTHEN LEG MUSCLES
Your jogging routine should go hand in hand with muscle-building exercises or weight-training. “Exercises that strengthen leg muscles, for example, can also lower the risk for knee problems and injury,” Dr. Kogan says. “It’s ideal to combine these exercises with wise jogging strategies. Avoid increasing your mileage by more than 10% a week. And limit your jogging to 45 miles weekly.”
Smart footwear choices also help reduce the risk for joint and tendon injury. “Replace your running shoes if the heel or tread wears out or if the shoes no longer feel supportive. Orthotic inserts also can provide extra support if your feet tend to turn inward as you run,” Dr. Kogan explains.
Finally, stay alert to any messages your body is sending. If you experience pain of any kind while jogging, do not continue to run.
Michael G. Kogan, MD is a board certified orthopedic surgeon who has been in practice with Midwest Bone & Joint since 1995. Dr. Kogan specializes in both general orthopedics, which includes fractures (broken bones) to sprains and strains. In addition, he is a specialist in Sports Medicine and Arthroscopic Surgery. This specialty requires completing a 1-year fellowship concentrating in this area after completing a 5-year orthopedic surgery residency. During residency, Dr. Kogan served on the medical team treating athletes at The Ohio State University.