Our latest Runner’s Workshop was a great success. The information was for every type of runner, a triathlete, a marathon runner, 5k, a competitive runner from high school and college as well as the casual runner. We even had a couple who were just thinking about running. Dang, I loved seeing people wanting to be educated on the sport before they even started it. Pretty smart, I say 🙂

Everyone showed up bright and early, ready to learn and boy o boy, we did not lose an audience during the 3-hour workshop. As a runner, I understand the challenges involved with running. It is certainly taxing on the joints to begin with, add any tweaks or misaligned joints to the picture and the end result is damaging. That is why I did the workshop for Runners covering:

  • Proper biomechanics of running
  • Myths about running poses
  • Recognizing the source of pain during the run, after a certain mile mark, or day(s) after the run
  • Kinesio-tape or sports-tape (my personal favorite is Rocktape)
  • How to tape for pain
  • How to tape for ‘support’
  • How to tape to ‘remind’.

Read on to learn what I mean by that. We covered the major areas of complaint when it came to taping. I have over 300 videos on my YouTube channel that I advised them to look into and subscribe to. Also on my website, some of the Posture Tip routines I do are listed; these tips use Postural Neurology and Functional Movement poses that I see fit for my daily routine list.

Runner's workshop

Runner’s workshop

How to run fast and not run out of breath?

Here we went over what the ideal posture for running is! The same ideal posture is present for all sports, from gymnastics and ballet to football and swimming. Does the term ‘core’ refer to just the abs? Do you do abdominal crunches to strengthen it? How do you disengage the legs from stabilizing you when running? After all, if the legs’ job is to run, they should not be supporting your torso at the same time!! You have stabilizer muscles and structures within your torso whose job is to do just that- to stabilize. Unfortunately, our daily lifestyle messes the whole thing up and then when we run, the legs – lower extremities to be exact- have to joggle another task. The end result is always problems. If you are thinking you don’t have any pain so you are good in that ‘department’ you are mistaken. Pain is not always present when the brain tries to figure things out and frankly, by the time pain comes, a lot of ‘pathological patterns of movement’ are present. Check out this blog to better understand what I mean. So many of the attendees simply were not aware of this issue which is not surprising. The source of all conditions I treat in my practice from sports-related injuries to neck pain, headaches, lower back pain, sciatica, knee pain, hip pain and more, are always those pathological patterns of movement.

Runner's workshop Biomechanics

Runner’s workshop Biomechanics

What is the most common issue in Runners?

Here we discussed how the site of pain is not necessarily the source of the problem. This workshop was very interactive so I went over how to look for the subtle signs and how to use the most awesome app ( Essential Anatomy 5) to learn about the muscles and their function in the area of complaint. There is no way around it! If you are putting ‘miles’ on your body, you ought to take the time to learn about the basic foundational structures you are using. We talked about the Runner’s knee, hip issues, pain in the feet and big toes. We went over the clues you can get from your socks and shoes you use when running. BTW, I do recommend wearing 2 pairs of socks over the period of a month if running regularly so you can see if your toes are staying on the ground and doing so evenly during the toe-off and heel strike which tells you a lot about your biomechanics of running.

Educational session: Runner's workshop

Educational session: Runner’s workshop

What causes my pain when running?

That is the deal maker since most of the time the source of pain is not the location of the pain. In fact, every single attendee complaining of their area of pain ended up having issues that were related elsewhere. My experience with Triathletes, Marathon runners and competitive runners is that they have major issues with the hip and pelvic movements. Sometimes the inner thigh muscle (vastus medialis) ends up being overused because the hamstrings are overactive. This means the knee gets pulled in toward the midline and the runner ends up with knee pain. With chronic knee pain, you are guaranteed to have pelvis imbalance and next thing you know, you are at my office with oh I don’t know, a pulled hamstring?!!?

Irvine Runner's workshop

Irvine Runner’s workshop

How to tape for Runner’s knee pain, neck and shoulder pain

Let’s talk about taping! All taping whether it’s done for pain, stabilization, ‘suggestion’ or whatever your reason may be, do one thing! They stimulate the brain. Your brain is the orchestra leader and your running or movement in general is the concert. Taping for ‘suggestion’ or stabilization’ essentially red flags the brain so it pays closer attention to that area. It is therefore essential to give the right ‘reminder’ to the brain. In the picture below, apprehension and lack of trust of the knee was the complaint – all justified from previous injuries. I taped around the knee cap to encourage the ‘support’ of all surrounding soft tissue. BTW, most back of the knee pains have to do with the “front” structures and the front of the knee pains to do with the “back” of the knee structures.

Taping for Runner's knee pain

Taping for Runner’s knee pain

Another chief complaint in Runners has to do with the neck and shoulder area. In the video below, the runner admitted that she gets too much pain after running so she has switched to mostly cycling (which still is taxing on the neck btw) and swimming ( I am a big fan of that as a sport but hardly swim myself!!).

For her, I did what is called ‘proprioceptive’ taping. Proprioception is the knowledge of your brain knowing where you are in space at any given time. So if I support the joint and remind the brain where the joint should thrive to be at, then use an extra tab to re-emphasize the direction, then there is that extra ‘layer’ of reminder (pun intended) which can come in handy.

The point I would like to make is to not just go there and randomly start taping yourself. That’s like putting different musical notes in front of the ‘conductor’ and expecting to hear a beautiful XYZ concert and be bummed because it was not what you expected!

Taping for Runner's shoulder pain

Taping for Runner’s shoulder pain

The Runner’s workshop was packed with valuable information and I am not saying it because I did it 🙂 I got great feedback from most attendees and frankly, everyone who showed up at the beginning was there to the very end.

If you wish to sign up to be notified of the next workshop for Runners and other conditions that I plan on doing this year, simply click here and provide your information. I will not spam you for sure.

Hugs and have fun running.

Dr. Shakib