Pre-run stretching shown to be useless

Compromised foot landing from bunions may increase injuries

Stretching before or after runningResearchers at Montgomery Orthopedics conducted a study on more than 2,700 runners and found that stretching before a run is a benign activity which neither helps nor hurts the athlete.

For the study, half of the runners performed no warm-up exercises, while the other half stretched their hamstrings and quadriceps, amounting to about 3 to 5 minutes before a run.

They found that the activity had no effect on runners. However, the most significant risk factors for injury included previous injury, either recent or chronic, a high body mass index and abrupt changes to a warm-up routine.

"Although all runners switching routines were more likely to experience an injury than those who did not switch, the group that stopped stretching had more reported injuries, implying that an immediate shift in a regimen may be more important than the regimen itself," said study author Daniel Pereles.

Moreover, compromised foot landing mechanics - which often occur as a result of bunions, hammer toe or other foot pain - can increase a runner's risk of injury.

Fortunately, bunion splints or orthotics may help athletes prevent or treat bunions or hammer toe without the need for painful bunion surgery.

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