We’ve all seen the hilarious online videos of people falling off treadmills. They can be treacherous pieces of equipment, to be sure.
But it’s easier to injure yourself on a treadmill than you may think.
While many runners turn to them over the winter, there are a few things you should know about common treadmill injuries vs. running outside.
The Treachery of the Treadmill
While I’m not here to demonize treadmills, warning my readers about the potential for injury while using them is the responsible thing to do.
They have a purpose. When the weather’s nasty, we still need to get in our run. We just prefer to do it protected from the elements. And many of us have used them without incident. But there’s a learning curve involved.
Did you know, for example, that more than 400,000 Americans are treated for exercise equipment-related injuries every year? What’s more, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that the treadmill is responsible for more of those injuries than any other type of equipment.
Slips and strains are the most common treadmill injuries, sending over 20,000 Americans to emergency rooms every year.
So, as you can see, the treachery of the treadmill is very real. But there’s hope for those of you who want to continue your running discipline over the winter.
Clearly, the treacherous treadmill allows us to run in a controlled environment when the outdoor alternative is either unpleasant or impossible.
You should also be aware that treadmills can easily simulate outdoor running conditions by setting them at a 1% incline. A key benefit of the treadmill is that the cushioned belt is better for your body than city streets, reducing impact.
Smart Runners Know
Every type of intense athletic pursuit comes with a certain element of risk. I just want you to know what that is when confronting a treadmill because awareness is key.
Also, smart runners know that what you do when you’re not running is almost as important as the running part. Poor posture can undermine you, weakening muscles and throwing the body into a state of imbalance.
There’s also the problem of “too much too soon” for those either new to the sport or returning after a hiatus. Being smart means understanding your capacity and building up your efforts slowly and steadily.
And sure, even the great outdoors has its risks. There are the roots of trees when you’re running in wooded areas, cars when you’re running urban areas, bicycles and of course, the urban plague of muggers and other ne’er do wells.
What it’s all about is awareness and approaching running as the serious business it is.
Back & Body Medical
At Back & Body, we support runners with a multi-disciplinarian team of clinicians practicing chiropractic, acupuncture, sports medicine and physical therapy.
Whether or not you’ve fallen prey to a treacherous treadmill, our care is focused on pain relief and injury prevention. We work with you to keep your body moving and to restore it to full function when you’ve been injured. Contact us.