It's always so exciting to have this new fitness plan. Perhaps you haven't been watching your diet for the last few months, and now you have cut some pounds.
Well, whichever the cause that sends you running on that treadmill probably got you asking- How safe are these toys? What is the probability of ending up with a treadmill injury? Probably not as safe as you thought.
According to a post by Angela Haupt on the Washington Post ‘How to keep yourself and your kids safe around your home treadmill, over 15,000 Americans have been treated for treadmill-related injuries over the past couple of years, with a few losing their lives. Sounds quite serious.
How then can you safely go on with your plan on a treadmill? And is it easier to actually run on the treadmill?
Major Causes of Treadmill Injuries
You can't really prevent something you don't know, right? It is important to know the common causes of treadmill injuries to avoid them. It is startling- major causes of treadmill injuries are user brought. For instance:
1. Trying to walk before you crawl
It is important to have a fitness plan or routine and fitness goals. Still, the goals will be meaningless if you end up with treadmill foot pain or ankle pain, hip pain or fracture, treadmill trauma, or worst-case scenario you lose your life simply because you wanted to achieve your goals too soon.
Sometimes users tend to become impatient with themselves, spend an unreasonable amount of time exercising, push past their bodies “elasticity limits”, and consequently get hurt.
2. Getting off-routine
After long hours of work or sleep or just rest, your body needs to have a small window to warm up just a little bit before the vigorous exercises.
This warm-up helps increase blood circulation in the body, which helps a great deal in preventing soreness. Getting off the bed and jumping on the treadmill, for instance, may lead to hip pains if you didn't do some stretches first.
Every fitness routine has warm-up exercises; going “off-script” causes treadmill injuries.
3. Worn-out or inappropriate work-out gear
Running on a sneaker with a worn-out heel courier will cause ankle pains, having tight or inelastic pants can cause falls. Basically, having inappropriate or worn-out gear causes injuries, and this is not just on treadmills.
4. General safety overlook
Runners sometimes tend to overlook some safety guidelines when using treadmills, for example, other runners do not know how to use treadmill safety key for emergency stops. Others watch their feet while running instead of looking forward, some step on moving treadmills.
These, among other overlooks, result in minor and major treadmill injuries.
Common Treadmill Injuries
We will discuss the common injuries and how using the treadmill can bring about such injuries.
1. Hip Injuries
After hours of working out on the treadmill- either running or incline walking, sharp pains can be experienced on the hip bones when walking, bending, or squatting.
Hip pains are caused by putting too much stress on the hips. Torn or bruised ligaments or tendons or sore muscular tissues can result in hip injuries. This can be attributed to using unusual stride patterns or overstretching one's legs too much.
Falls are another common treadmill injury and can be attributed to many factors. Thousands of yearly treadmill injuries are from falls.
A lack of concentration can cause falls while running or walking on the treadmills. Another common cause of falls is an improper use of the safety key, and other individuals fall by looking at their feet instead of looking forward.
Falling can lead to serious injuries such as burns from the heated pads, head trauma, and ankle or knee injuries.
3. Heart complications
Heart problems such as heart failure and heart attacks can be secondary to other underlying health conditions. When individuals with related underlying health conditions work out intensively on the treadmills for long hours, they can have attacks related.
4. Shoulder injuries
Shoulder injuries result from using handrails at high speeds. In certain incidences, shoulder dislocation was reported, while other users experienced sharp pains after long hours of running or walking on the treadmills.
The majority of these injuries can however be rehabilitated with an underwater treadmill, injuries such as knee pains, Achilles tendinitis among other treadmill injuries.
How to Avoid Treadmill Injuries: Quick Tips
Get the right gears- This is not dispensable. You cannot run on worn-out shoes, inflexible pants and be on the safe side. For instance, have the appropriate gear, recommended shoes, such as runner rubber shoes, shorts, and stretchers.
Wear the appropriate gear appropriately. Having the right gear is not enough. Wear the gears appropriately. For instance, tie your shoes correctly, do not leave laces loosely hanging, and have your clothes well fitted.
Don't step or jump on a running treadmill. You will most likely fall if you do this- the machine will probably throw you off. Make sure that your treadmill is off before getting on.
Concentrate. Avoid using your phone or watching a mounted TV. You should also avoid talking to people next to you and looking at your feet while using a treadmill. Basically, avoid destructive activities.
Keep off the handrails if possible. When working out for an unusually long time, you should avoid the handrails as much as possible.
Have enough space behind you. You don't want to hit yourself on a bench or a dumbbell when you accidentally slip. Leave space behind you.
Always keep children away from the treadmills. Keeping children off the machine should be done round the clock, whether the machine is on or off. Power off the treadmill. Always leave your machine powered off after use.
Treadmills and Floors- A Point of Concern?
Often, runners complained of machines ruining their floors in the long run, especially those with hardwood floors. Machines and floors are a point of concern. Using mats can help protect your floor from the ruin caused by operating the machine.
When installing the machine, it is therefore important to use a treadmill mat for hardwood floors to avoid damage.
Do Treadmills Cause Knee Injuries? How Do You Prevent Knee Injuries?
Knee injuries are some of the common treadmill injuries reported over the years. An article posted on the Treadmill Reviews gave explanations on findings of Philip Riches, an expert in bio-mechanics. He explained that running with no incline can result in knee injuries.
Running and walking on the treadmill with no incline causes serious knee injuries or future complications, muscles are strained due to the upright posture, especially during a prolonged run on the treadmill. Knees are not able to absorb shock in this motion, and this, in the long run, causes damage to the knee.
Runners have reported side effects of treadmills on knees. Sometimes the easy running on the treadmill takes a toll on the knees and results in complications as minor as ligament sprains to serious issues such as severe tears.
Preventing treadmill knee injury
It would be best if you run in a slightly inclined posture of about 3% is recommended to avoid unnatural walking or inclined patterns, run properly on the treadmill to avoid injuries.
It would be advisable if you protected the endangered joints by setting the treadmill to an incline position to help the knee absorb shock from the exercise.
Start by walking slowly and gradually pace up. Starting up slowly will help the joints gradually adjust to the increasing speed.
Use short strides instead of long strides. Short strides will put less strain on the tissues and muscles of and around the knee.
Talk to your healthcare provider before getting onto a runner if you have related pre-existing conditions.
Treadmills and Sore Ankles
Most definitely, treadmills cause sore ankles. Ankle soreness is a common complaint by many runners. Sore ankles are attributed to overspeeding. Some runners use high speeds that are unnatural to them for long periods.
This unusual behavior can result in ankle soreness. The connecting muscles between the shin and the ankle sometimes cause soreness in front of the ankles.
Always stretch the calves hurt on the treadmill and use lower speed limits to remedy this.
Another common way that treadmills hurt ankles is out of overuse. Runners tend to instantly push themselves to extreme levels instead of gradually growing into them to achieve; they tend to overuse work-out equipment like treadmills.
Overusing equipment cause injuries to several parts of the body, including the ankles. The smooth running on treadmills encourages longer running, which sometimes becomes unhealthy.
Peleton Treadmills- Injuries and Deaths
A post on the Legal Examiner- United States explained that in May 2021, Peleton recalled all its sold treadmills after the death of a six-year-old child. Furthermore, the company had reported 72 injuries due to their machines.
The injuries were quite severe- broken bones, deep cuts, burns, and bruises. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission gave a public alarm and requested Peleton to recall their faulty machines.
The treadmills had motors that needed higher ground clearance compared to other treadmills. Their touchscreen was also detachable, and this made them less safe.
A statement released later by Pelton acknowledged that they have improved their products and that the technical problems on the Peleton machines were addressed. They, however, did not mention that the repairs included machines sold outside the United States.
Is Running Outside a Better Option?
Running outside comes with many uncontrollable variables such as weather conditions, time factors, environmental safety in general, among other things.
Despite its risks, I can conclude that treadmills offer better conditions. Treadmills make you faster since it's easier to monitor your progress and improve.
You can run anytime you feel, regardless of the weather or other environmental factors, provided you have power. Let’s say on a snowy day, you can run more comfortably on a treadmill than outside.
The risks associated with treadmills are controllable, and safety measures can be undertaken to prevent treadmill injuries. Unless you are an athlete, who requires both indoor and outdoor running, treadmills are recommendable.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a safety key on a treadmill?
A safety key is a key attached to one end of the treadmill, mostly the front panel, and the other end to the user. The key provides an immediate emergency stop to the machine.
2. Which ProForm treadmill is the best?
Many users, from reviews checked, preferred the ProForm CST-Smart. Other users prefer ProForm Pro 2000- Smart. This particular model comes with a 10” HD touchscreen plus a 30-day iFit family membership, lastly the ProForm City L6 Folding also topped the list. With its 8km/h speed controller and 30-day iFit family membership, runners loved it.
3. Which is the best Nordick Track treadmill to buy?
The majority of the commercial buyers prefer the Nordick Track Commercial 1750
4. Which is the best treadmill for home use?
The majority of domestic buyers went for the Nordick Track 1750
5. Which brand of treadmill is the best?
At the top of the list of user-recommended treadmill brands was the Nordick Track with the 1750 model as the most preferred. Running up was the Sole Treadmill, with the F80 as the most preferred.
In a Nutshell
Treadmills offer a very convenient way of engaging in a running or walking exercise, you can run in the comfort of your home or gym at any given time. You do not have to worry about the cold outside slowing you down or that storm or snow stopping you from running.
Well, that is just the cherry on top of the cake, with treadmills, you can monitor your progress in real- speed and miles covered. Sounds exciting!
As much as we celebrate the conveniences, it is equally important that we understand and establish that there are risks involved in using treadmills. Always ensure that you practice the safety measures and safe use of the equipment.
Choose your favorite treadmill, make sure to go safely about everything, and enjoy your running or walking!