Despite being physically fit, runners often encounter and need to deal with a number of mild to moderate injuries associated with running. In many instances, the running injuries themselves may not be serious in nature but if neglected can become annoying and eventually may make the running experience extremely unenjoyable.
Broadly speaking, running injuries can range from mild, short lived aches and pains that may bother you one day but are gone the next to more acute, full blown injuries that may force you take time off from running to heal properly. But whatever the nature of the injury, the risk of elevating the threat of a serious running injury can be minimized by reducing the mileage as well as the intensity of the run along with establishing a treatment program that offers long lasting injury prevention.
Common Running Injuries
The most common of running injuries often involve tightening of different muscles and inflammation in the affected region. Problems are typically caused when the muscles involves have been overused, overstrained or the runner is wearing poorly selected footwear. The result is experiencing hamstring injury, sore knees, ankle pain and shin pain. Here is a look at some of the most common running injuries that runners suffer from:
- Planter Fasciitis
This is a condition that results from inflammation at the bottom of the feet. The runner experiences the uncomfortable feeling of a tight, sharp pain located at the base of the heel that may seem irritating for some and agonizing to others.
Typically planter fasciitis is associated with overusing or overtraining the muscles in the feet. Another reason may also be using worn out footwear. However, in any case the issue lies with weakened and tight muscles in the feet. With weak feet the heel ends up taking extra load resulting in discomfort and pain experienced.
To deal with this running injury, the first step is usually to opt for stability shoes and orthotics. For a more enduring treatment plan stretching exercises that are paired with strengthening feet muscles can help improve the condition and prevent recurrence.
- Achilles Tendinitis
This is another running injury that involves inflammation in the feet, this time in the Achilles tendon. The pain experienced is felt at the back of the lower leg just above the heel. This condition cause both swelling and pain close to the heel which can be crippling for runners. Like planter fasciitis, this condition can also trigger from overstraining and overburdening the feet when running. Wearing unsupportive footwear can also aggravate the condition.
Symptoms can be relieved by icing the sore spot, resting, as well as stretching. Other temporary solutions include using aids like heel lifts, orthotics and highly structured shoes to prevent overburdening the Achilles tendon. Long term strategies include doing the right exercises that strengthen the lower leg without doing too much or doing them too hard.
- IT Band Syndrome
This running injury is associated with experiencing severe knee pain. When the IT band tendon connecting the knee to the hip becomes inflamed, the discomfort can be experienced as excruciating pain in the side of the knee when running. It has been established that often running downhill and usually running on the same side of the road can cause sore knees. These practices put excessive stress on the side of the knee causing friction between the IT band and the femur. Over time, the IT band tightens, swells becomes painful to the point where it can prevent runners from running.
To find relief, runners can have the quadriceps and hamstring muscles massaged and use a foam roller to loosen tightened spots. Icing and using anti-inflammatory products can help reduce inflammation while avoiding aggressive downhill running can help improve the symptoms.
- Runners Knee
Runners knee is a running injury when runners feel a constant ache under their kneecap while running. The pain tends to worsen as the intensity of the workout increases since the kneecap is likely out of alignment. Once again, cause can be contributed to uneven running surfaces or inappropriate footwear. Also, weakened quads and hips or unaddressed biomechanical flaws can all worsen this common knee pain complaint.
To fix the condition, it is advised to take a break from running especially if there is inflammation involved. The first step should be to address the inflammation by icing or using anti-inflammatory products. Long term prevention involves changing up running surfaces, strengthening knees and wearing proper running shoes when working out.
- Shin Splits
This running injury involves pain in the shin area. The intensity of the pain can range from mild to severe with causes varying from inflammation to stress fractures. The most common reason for this type of injury can be traced to a sudden increase in mileage, volume and intensity of training. As such, a lot of new runners experience this running injury since their legs may not yet be strong enough to handle the impact of intensive or prolonged runs.
This is an important reason why novice runners or young athletes need to work with a solid base before making their running workout more intensive.
To fix the problem, icing and rest is crucial. In addition anti-inflammatory products can help ease the inflammation and pain. When easing back into the running program, take care to gradually build up the volume and intensity and choose soft surfaces for running to reduce the impact on the lower legs.
Apart from the injuries mentioned above, chafing is a common problem for runners. It affects the skin and may lead to pain for many days. To prevent your skin from chafing, just try pjuractive 2SKIN.
What injuries do you suffer from? Tell us what you do to prevent your body from pain!