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Sports Medicine Experts from Hospital for Special Surgery Give Advice on Avoiding Injury While Training for a Marathon

Series on distance running tips is downloadable as podcasts

NEW YORK—September 15, 2009

What runners don't know can hurt them - especially if they are involved in the strenuous training needed to run a marathon. Luckily for them, a new series of talks debuted by Hospital for Special Surgery provides the expert insight they need in order to prevent health issues that might befall them as they prepare.

The series, available as both online videos and podcasts, offers tips and advice on topics such as knee injuries, hip overuse prevention and strength training.

"Distance running puts high joint loads on the hip, knee, foot and ankle - so that's obvious that is where you'll see most of your running joint injuries," said sports medicine orthopedic surgeon Riley J. Williams, MD. There is a wealth of injuries that are specific to runners due to the repetitive nature of the motion involved with the sport, according to Williams, who is a member of the Sports Medicine Service at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

However, despite the repetition of joint movement involved in running, not all serious running regimes will inevitably result in injury, according to the video featuring sports medicine physician Jordan D. Metzl, MD. In fact, many running injuries are avoidable by creating a running plan and adhering to that schedule of training and stretching.

"Our idea of making your training program as healthy as possible is: how do you set proper goals, how do you keep yourself running for life, how do you recognize when there's an injury… and how do you work on prevention going forward?" Metzl said.

According to Metzl, a successful training program with realistic goals considers:

  • A runner’s starting point
  • Any prior running experience
  • "Building" as the runner trains to go further
  • "First timer" programs especially for marathons

The focus of the talks lies in the types of injuries that may occur, but the speakers also provide insightful tips about prevention, especially Polly de Mille, R.N., exercise physiologist, and Rob Maschi, DPT., Sports Rehabilitation and Performance Center, Hospital for Special Surgery, who both discussed the values of aerobic and strength training as means to improve running mechanics and, therefore, lessen the chance of injury.

"If you want to take it to the next level, running 10 Ks or even marathons, you really need to develop a good strength base to do that," Maschi said. "Unfortunately a lot of the injured runners I work with take the philosophy of running to train versus of training to run."

Other tips include a detailed running plan, descriptions of common injuries, such as tendonitis, sprains, strains or lower back pain and their symptoms as well as specific exercises to incorporate into training for maximum preventive value.

See the video series online at HSS.edu.


About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the eighth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2017-2018). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. The global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. People from all 50 U.S. states and 80 countries travelled to receive care at HSS. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Global Innovation Institute was formed in 2016 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The culture of innovation is accelerating at HSS as 130 new idea submissions were made to the Global Innovation Institute in 2017 (almost 3x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute is the world’s leading provider of education on the topic on musculoskeletal health, with its online learning platform offering more than 600 courses to more than 21,000 medical professional members worldwide. Through HSS Global Ventures, the institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.


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