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Completing a 5k race is an achievement for any runner wishing to gauge their progress and test their mettle against their peers. Unfortunately, jumping into 5k training leads many new runners to the doctor’s office instead of the finish line. Running without practicing proper mechanics or recovery can lead to lingering forms of knee, foot, or IT band pain. Ignoring these pains will eventually lead to a more serious overuse injury on race day. Here are seven simple tips to help you train for your first pain-free 5k.

The sciatic nerve is the largest in the nervous system. Its circumference is about the size of your pinky finger, and it’s responsible for connecting the spinal cord to the leg and foot muscles. Any pressure on the sciatic nerve will cause a radiating pain, called sciatica, that can be felt throughout these regions of the lower body. Sciatica itself is a symptom, not a diagnosis, and there are many conditions that can cause sciatic-like pain. Below are some of the most common conditions related to sciatic pain.

Our lifestyles have drastically changed over the years. Today’s jobs are less physically demanding than they were 50 years ago since many workplaces now use technology to increase efficiency and accuracy. Even the activities we do after work often involve less physical activity and more sitting, such as watching tv and playing video games. Unfortunately, these long, seated hours are bad for our health. Most people sit for eight or more hours a day, and the effects of sitting for so long are disastrous to our health. Prolonged sitting causes an increased risk of back pain and cardiovascular disease, among other conditions.

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround and stabilize the shoulder joint. Because your rotator cuffs are so mobile and used so often in everyday life, they can easily suffer from painful conditions and injuries. Below, we outline some of the most common rotator cuff injuries and the steps you can take if you’re experiencing rotator cuff pain.