Rehab expert offers tips on running bridge injury-free - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Rehab expert offers tips on running bridge injury-free

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By Dean Stephens

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) – Nearly 40,000 people will do their best to "get over it" this weekend. Getting over the Cooper River for the 37th running and walking of the Cooper River Bridge run can come with a few aches and pains.

There are simple steps both runners and walkers alike can do to avoid the potential injuries that accompany running and walking a 10K race.

Stephen Correia is the owner and Vice President of Rehabilitation Centers of Charleston, his first suggestion is fairly simple, hydrate and stretch.

"Start hydrating now, make sure you are well hydrated since we can only try to predict what the race conditions will be and water keeps the engine cooled off," said Correia.

But runners have to keep their muscles loose, too. 

"But most important stretch. Obviously this late in the game the best thing would be light stretching of the hips and legs,  not aggressive because that could cause micro trauma to the tissue and these tendons are very susceptible to over loading, and receive poor blood flow," said Correia.

He suggests a foam roller to work the IT bands, the hamstrings and the quads.

From stretching to a light workout, Correia recommends to do a light job or walk before the actual event and be aware of any warning signs.

"Runners need to make sure if they feel a specific twinge, ache or discomfort to lightly stretch the tissue to see if that will relieve the discomfort and allow them to continue, if not and the tissues become more irritated or aggravated then obviously walk or then stop and seek medical personnel. Watch out for any depressions on the course or other runners. Sprained ankles or falls are common with the mass number of individuals performing the race," said Correia.

Aside from the soreness that comes with running a race like the bridge run, the greatest concern for runners should be heat-related injuries. Common sense is the key.

"If anyone feels light headed, confusion, acute headache, nausea, blurred vision or similar they should seek medical personnel immediately, those are signs of heat injury and much more severe than orthopedic injuries," said Correia.

Once a runner crosses the finish line, the race may  be over but there are precautions that can be taken to help the recovery process.

"From an orthopedic perspective again, hydrate with water then a watered down sports drink. Light stretching to Achilles, ITB, hamstring, and quad tendons, foam roller if available for light massage to the tissues. And if possible a light warm down after crossing the finish line to help try and flush lactic acid from the muscles if they are running hard and going for a PR. And as always ice if moderately painful or swelling occurs," said Correia.

If getting over the bridge is your goal this weekend, good luck. If your goal is to "get over it" injury free, start preparing your body is now.

RCC operates eight different locations across the tri-county and Corriea points out that in the state of South Carolina anyone can walk into a physical therapist and be seen without a physicians prescription.

  • Dean Stephens

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