Running has become one of the most popular ways to improve and maintain fitness, and to stay in shape. In fact, more than 40 million North Americans run on a regular basis.
Although running is a great way to stay active, many runners have to deal with an injury at some point.
More than 80% of running injuries are caused by repetitive stress, but sudden injuries like a sprained ankle or a torn muscle can also happen.
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So one of the commonest injuries we see in sports medicine is the simple ankle sprain, but it’s actually a lot more complicated than people think.
There are a number of different ligaments in the ankle. Some of them are on the outside half of the ankle, so this is the lateral or outside part where the fibula this is the bone here, attaches to the talus, that’s the bone that forms the top part of the foot that goes up and down.
There are also ligaments on the other side of the ankle attaching the tibia, again, down towards the talus. The most common injury would be one in which the foot turns outwards, so when people roll their ankle, and that would damage the ligaments out here.
We generally grade those injuries from one to three. So one would be the mildest injury, so more of a simple sprain, and then three would be considered a complete tear of the ligaments. And those are the kinds of cases where we might actually have to consider things like casting or surgery.
Most minor ankle sprains, so grade 1 or even grade 2 sprains, you might consider doing a couple of different things in terms of treatment. To begin with, we would want to put on ice. We might want to take an anti-inflammatory.
You would certainly want to consider seeking professional help from a physiotherapist or even seeing your family doctor in cases where people are unable to bear weight after an injury like this.
So if they’re unable to put any weight on the foot whatsoever, that’s the sort of injury where you should be going to the emergency room, and possibly having an x-ray. Most of these injuries when treated with therapy, maybe wearing a brace for a short period of time, and slowly and gradually resuming your activity, will generally not result in any kind of long-term problems.
Most grade 1 type injuries are typically going to resolve within about four to six weeks. So at that point you can consider going back to your usual sports. Grade 2 injuries can take a little longer, somewhere maybe between six and ten weeks, and then grade 3 injuries can sometimes take as long as 12 weeks.
And of course if surgery or casting is necessary it could take a little longer to resume your sports. Ankle injuries are very common in lots of different sports, but particularly sports where you have to cut and turn and particularly in turf sports. So sports like basketball, soccer, ultimate Frisbee, we see these kinds of injuries all the time in these various sports.
If you think you have an ankle injury or have more questions about ankle injuries, you could consult your family physician who might refer you to a sports medicine doctor. Local Physiotherapist
Video shot in conjunction with http://www.aesmphysiotherapytoronto.ca/
If you’re a competitive or recreational level runner, it is important to fuel appropriately for optimal performance by choosing the right diet.
This is the kind of sport that requires a high carbohydrate diet because carbohydrates are the only nutrient that as soon as it’s digested, is right away converted into what we call glucose, which is our body’s primary source of fuel during activities.
You want to be sure that you’re eating small, frequent meals throughout the day to keep your energy levels consistent. It’s important to eat a meal that has a high amount of carbohydrates and moderate amounts of protein and fat two to three hours before your practices or your games or your events so that you do have enough energy.
You may also want to top off your energy stores about an hour before your training session to make sure that you are going to be energized when you start your sport.
If you’re going to be training for longer than 60-90 minutes, you want to include a source of carbohydrates to make sure that you’re not going to feel fatigued or tired, because your energy stores are going to be low at that point.
Instead of your body tapping into your internal stores of muscle and fat, you want foods such as a medium-sized fruit, some dried fruit, maybe a few Fig Newtons or a sports drink to make sure you’re getting an adequate fuel supply from carbohydrates.
You may not necessarily feel hungry right after exercise, because your blood sugar levels are kind of circulating around, interfering with your hunger response. However, it’s still important that you do get something in at this point because this is a really critical time for refueling your energy stores, which have been used up during your exercise.
Whether it’s a practice, a game or a training session you do want to make sure that you have a snack that’s high in carbohydrates to get you ready for your next event.
Within the first half hour would be the ideal time to have this high carbohydrate snack, such as a piece of bread with some jam, even some chocolate milk, and then again to refuel within the next two hours after your sport.
It’s also important to follow the plate rule, where you have half of your plate represented by vegetables or fruit, a quarter by lean meats or alternative sources of protein, and then a quarter represented by whole grains.
So it’s important to remember to try and eat every two to three hours throughout the day to keep your energy levels consistent leading up to your sport. You want to focus on high carbohydrate meals and snacks before and during as well as after your sport, and also including moderate levels of protein after your sport to help with repairing any kind of muscle tissue damage that might have naturally occurred as part of the process.
If you have any questions or need more information about how to properly fuel your sport with food, visit your local registered dietitian who specializes in sport nutrition. You may also want to visit your local medical doctor if you do have any underlying medical conditions to make sure that you’re okay to exercise.
Presenter: Ms. Ashley Charlebois, Registered Dietitian, Vancouver, BC
Local Practitioners: Registered Dietitian