Running is a popular way to exercise – but what would an orthopedic specialist say about it?
Better yet, what would a foot and ankle specialist say about running?
We sat down with our very own Dr. Michael Willenborg to hear about hi story, running, losing weight, and the impact running can have on your body.
The Interview with Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Michael J. Willenborg
How did you get started running?
I started running about 6 years ago around the same time I was trying to lose weight and just get into better shape in general. I had actually already lost quite a bit of weight (60lbs) before I started running so it was basically a way to maintain my weight loss.
What is it about running that you can’t get anywhere else?
Running is one of the best ways for me to boost both my physical and mental health. It helps just about all aspects of my health, provides an outlet for stress relief and improves my mood and overall happiness.
Are there any negative impacts?
The main negative effects of running I see in myself as well as in my running patients are overuse injuries (e.g. tendonitis, stress fractures, etc) where certain body parts are subjected to the same types of movements or forces repeatedly, and usually without proper rest and/or nutrition to aid in recovery.
What are the most common running injuries and how do you handle them?
Some of the most common overuse running injuries that I see are stress fractures, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis. All of which have subtle differences in how they are treated but in general all of them require some variation of RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression, elevation). In addition most runners will benefit from working with a physical therapist or sports rehab program in order to not only treat the injury but prevent its recurrence.
Do you have any tips for runners to exercise safely without causing long-term damage?
There are a number of things that one can do proactively to run safely and prevent running injuries including improving flexibility and joint mobility, participating in runner specific strength training, warm up and cool down properly before and after every run, gradually increasing mileage and including taper weeks when training for longer races, getting plenty of rest/sleep, and working with a running coach when possible.
When should a runner come and see you?
You should contact your doctor or a physical therapist if your pain continues despite decreased training, if your pain persists beyond 10 to 14 days or if the pain resolves with rest, but recurs once you resume training.
About Dr. Michael Willenborg, Foot and Ankle Specialist at Orthopedic Associates
Dr. Willenborg is board certified and sees a variety of general orthopedic conditions but specializes in disorders of the foot and ankle. These include bunions, hammertoes, arthritis, acquired and congenital deformity, sports-related and traumatic injuries, and diabetic foot conditions.
Dr. Willenborg approaches foot and ankle issues with cutting-edge capabilities, a high degree of skill, and extensive experience in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine.
Come visit Dr. Willenborg at Orthopedic Associates in Flower Mound, TX
Visit Orthopedic Associates in Flower Mound, TX
Orthopedic Associates understands how foot or ankle pain can affect your wellbeing. Our doctors are committed to providing effective, compassionate, and timely care. We also believe in educating our patients to avoid future problems.