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Tools to stay injury free

Emily Donker
Article by: Emily Donker (podiatrist, coach and runner)

Tools and tips to stay injury free

If you’re a runner, chances are you hate being unable to run. Staying injury-free is the best way to maintain consistent training. Getting a regular massage can reduce injury risk, but unfortunately, many runners don’t always have the time to prioritize massage within day to day life.

Thankfully there are some great tools you can use for self-massage which, if used correctly, can reduce the need for a sports massage. Two of the best tools that should be in every runners household are, foam rollers and trigger balls. We have both available at the intraining Running Centre.


When to use a foam roller?

Using a foam roller is great for relieving tension from, and flushing larger muscles – generally longer muscles such as the hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, ITB and through your back. Typically rollers are used on the ground (or against a wall) such that you can move your body and the target muscle across the roller. Foam rollers are available in various sizes and textures (eg. smooth vs bumpy).

Foam rollingHow to use a foam roller?

Using a foam roller is easy to do and can be done in front of the TV without much concentration required. Using your foam roller as ‘resting’ point, gently apply pressure to the area you are targeting by lying on the roller. Use your weight to apply pressure as required. If you need additional support to reduce the pressure, use your hands.


When to use a trigger ball?

ED May18 Trigger Ball

Trigger balls are perfect for releasing muscle knots and tension, particularly in deeper and bulkier muscles. Tight spots within longer muscles, plus the glutes, piriformis, hip flexors, erector spinae (lower back) and muscles around the shoulders all respond well to trigger point therapy.

How to use a trigger ball?

Find a tender spot and keep the pressure on for 30sec – 2min. They’re a great self-release tool, particularly if you travel a lot and are limited for space. Again, trigger balls are available in a range of sizes and textures.

intraining Running Centre has a range of foam rollers and trigger balls on offer. Our staff are all runners and can help guide you in the right direction to determine which tool will be best for your needs.

If you are experiencing pains that feel like they are more than just a niggle, or have an injury that just won’t leave you alone – come see one of our podiatry or physiotherapy team. For bookings, please call us at the intraining Running Injury Clinic on 3367 3088, or book online.

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