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Harshest Running Surfaces on your Body

Have you ever gotten home from a nice run and found your legs, ankles, and knees feeling different than your run the day before?  Did you run on the same ground surface?  Different surfaces affect the wear and tear on your lower body in different ways.  Knowing and choosing the ideal surfaces can help extend your career a lot longer.

Natural Grass – The best and most ideal surface to run on is natural grass.  Running in the grass has good impact absorption.  Since it is such a soft absorbing surface, your muscles actually work harder, which in turn will build more strength.  Grass has the most give of any surface without going overboard and being too soft.  If you can find a relatively flat, straight length of grass, utilize it.

Dirt Trails – The next best running surface are dirt trails.  These trails provide a similar cushion for your lower body, as the grass will.  The soft ground will soften the impact of your feet while the scenic nature along the path will help take your mind off the run.  Be cautious of tree roots and muddy terrain that could cause ankle sprains or other injuries.

Concrete – On the other end of the spectrum are the surfaces that take the biggest toll on your body over time.  The worst surface to run on is concrete.  It provides the highest shock value to a runner’s legs.  Concrete surfaces are said to be 10 times as hard as asphalt.  The surface is so abrasive that it doesn’t have any give to absorb the contact of your lower body.  Avoid concrete as much as you can even if it is one of the most common running surfaces around.

Sand – Another popular running surface that you should avoid is sand.  Television shows and movies have made running in the sand seem like a sexy but beneficial option, which is wrong.  Sand is such a soft surface that the risk of Achilles tendon is very high.  That coupled with the unevenness of most parts of the beach can put unbalanced stress on the lower body.  If you are planning on enjoying the ocean breeze on a sand surface run, just remember to keep it relatively short so injury is avoided.

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Advanced Physical Medicine is a multi-disciplinary wellness clinic that offers pain management and rehabilitation to patients in Chicagoland and beyond. When it comes to healthcare, APM utilizes a variety of different specialists including medical doctors, podiatrists, physical therapists, chiropractors and neurosurgeons to make joint decisions regarding the best treatment for you. Each treatment plan is tailored specifically according to your needs. You see, at APM, we treat you as a person, and we are always happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today and experience the difference with APM. We look forward to talking to you.