Did you know that running on hard surfaces can be dangerous to your health? Orthopaedic specialists say that running on asphalt, concrete, or other hard surfaces can cause injuries to the feet and ankles, such as stress fractures and Achilles tendonitis. Running on suitable surfaces while you enjoy the great outdoors is a must if you want to keep injuries down to a minimum.
In this article, we will examine some of the dangers of running on hard surfaces and look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of common places to run and their running surfaces in Singapore.
Pros and Cons of Common Running Surfaces in Singapore
There are a few different surfaces that many people run on in Singapore: asphalt, concrete, grass, and rubberised running tracks. Each surface has its own set of pros and cons.
1. Concrete Pavements
Concrete is a common running surface in Singapore, but unfortunately, one of the least forgiving. Despite being a smooth, even surface to run on, the material does not absorb any shock — causing greater impact on a runner’s feet, ankles, knees, hips, and lower back.
2. Rubberised Running Tracks
Practically every neighbourhood in Singapore has a stadium with a rubberised, artificial running track, frequented by many people, from track and field athletes to casual joggers. Rubberised running tracks are a great option if you’re looking for a running surface with a good grip and flat elevation profile. They absorb impact well, which reduces the strain on your feet and ankles. However, they can get quite hot during the day.
Roads in Singapore are made of asphalt, which is a mixture of tar, gravel, and crushed rock. While it does still put strain on the runner’s body, asphalt is a softer surface that is still better than concrete for running.
A great option for running if you’re looking for a softer surface. It’s shock absorbent, which reduces the impact on your feet and ankles, and is great for building strength in your legs. However, when it comes to running on grass, it has certain risks. Grass can be highly slippery after rain or in the morning (from dew), and fields can have unseen bumps which increases the risk of injury.
Orthopaedic Conditions Caused by Running on Hard Surfaces
There are a few orthopaedic conditions that can be caused by running on hard surfaces. These conditions include:
When running on hard surfaces, your foot is constantly hitting the ground with a lot of force. This can cause the plantar fascia (the tough band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot) to become inflamed and irritated. This condition is known as plantar fasciitis. Effective treatment options for non-severe cases of plantar fasciitis in Singapore include rest, ice, and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
The Achilles tendon is a large tendon in the back of your ankle. When you run on hard surfaces, this tendon can become inflamed, or degenerate due to wear and tear, leading to the condition known as Achilles tendonitis.
- Shin splints
Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome, is a common injury among runners. They are the inflammation of the muscles and tendons surrounding the tibia, caused by overworking, such as running long distances.
These conditions are painful and can hinder your everyday activity, but can be treated with conservative measures, such as rest, ice, and physical therapy. If you are experiencing pain that is not relieved by these measures, you may need to visit a sports injury clinic in Singapore.
Best Practices for Running Safely
When it comes to running, there are a few things that you should keep in mind in order to avoid injury. Firstly, always warm up before you run. This will help to loosen your muscles and reduce the risk of injury. Secondly, be sure to wear proper shoes that are designed for running. Thirdly, try to run on softer surfaces such as rubberised running tracks whenever possible to reduce the impact on your feet and ankles.
Interested in finding out more about the dangers of running on hard surfaces? Or have you developed a foot or ankle issue due to running? With extensive expertise in sports injuries, we are more than happy to aid you on your road to recovery. Contact OrthofootMD for more information or a consultation today.