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5 Pain Management Tips for Runners

September 18, 2020 Health and Wellness No Comments Email Email

To some degree, you expect pain when running regularly, especially at more athletic or competitive levels. With that in mind, it’s important to have a pain management plan in place before your muscles start aching. From knowing when to apply ice versus heat to keeping your go-to pain medicine on hand, you most likely try to be prepared.

It’s even more important, though, to know when pain is more than just muscle soreness. Continuing to run through an injury can do more damage to your body and your training plan. Learn how to manage your pain, whether from post-run soreness or something more serious, and understand how to keep yourself healthy and ready to tie up your sneakers soon. Here’s how.

Try to prevent pain and injury in the first place.

It seems like common sense but the easiest method for pain management is to avoid the pain from the get-go. While you can’t avoid every possible injury, you can take preventive measures to decrease their likelihood. Invest in high-quality equipment that fits you properly. Be sure to stretch, warm-up, and cool down before and after your runs. Incorporate other exercises, like strength training, into your fitness routine to keep your muscles and body overall in the best shape possible. Be aware of your form when running and, if you’re sitting for long periods when not running, try to walk around regularly to keep your body moving.

Take care of your body to maintain peak performance.

Preventing and managing pain doesn’t just happen while you’re pounding the pavement. In addition to eating well, drinking enough water, and getting enough sleep, give your body a break when it needs it. If you’re contending with chronic pain or muscle soreness, consider booking a remedial massage appointment to find some relief and relaxation. Also known as medical or sports massage, this therapy is the best massage option for runners, athletes, and others whose muscles could benefit from a little less tension.

Listen to your body.

No one knows what’s going on in your body better than your body itself. The next greatest expert? You! Work to recognize when a new route, pace, or length of run is a challenge versus when your body hurts due to an injury. Listen to your body—it will tell you what it needs. As tempting as it may be to avoid a break in your training, you’ll have better long-term performance if you rest when necessary.

It’s critical to treat your pain, not run through it.

As you listen to your body, you’ll get better at recognizing when you need to stop or rest. It’s one thing to keep running through a temporary side stitch; it’s another entirely to worsen an injury by continuing to run despite it. When in doubt, talk to your doctor. They can examine your pain and any other symptoms to recommend whether you should adjust or pause your fitness regimen.

You have more options than standard OTC painkillers.

With simple muscle soreness or something more serious, many runners reach for a dose of ibuprofen after a hard race. But that isn’t your only option: CBD can ease your pain more naturally. What is CBD? CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound that comes from the cannabis sativa, or marijuana, plant. Among other benefits, CBD can reduce inflammation and relieve pain without the risk of damage to your kidneys that comes with other methods. It also doesn’t get you high, unlike marijuana does.

Whether you’re dealing with normal aches and pains or a post-run injury, tools like CBD products and remedial massage can help you manage your symptoms. And, by planning ahead and listening to both your doctor and your body, you’ll be back to your workout routine before you know it.

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