Although many people believe that prolonged suffering from injuries is part of the running lifestyle, this does not have to be the case. With the help of preventative steps and some simple aftercare maintenance, these five most common running injuries can be simple curves in the road instead of debilitating injuries that will put you on the sidelines.
This condition, also known as runner’s knee, refers to pain near the kneecap. Excess strain placed on the knee through the repetitive nature of running on pavement or downhill causes this condition. Preventative measures involve sticking to flat and soft running surfaces. The pain is frequently treated through anti-inflammatory medication and knee braces. You may also want to reduce your running miles while you heal. However, pain in the knee could also bee a more serious problem, and it may be necessary to have knee surgery. Be sure to speak with your doctor and an orthopedic surgeon if that pain is persistent or worsens over time.
IT Band Injuries
Runners frequently suffer from another type of knee injury, known as Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome. This injury differs from runner’s knee because it is located on the outside area of the knee. Runners with stiff shoes, weak hips and high arches in their feet are particularly susceptible. To treat the condition, you may apply ice. Comfortable and well-fitted shoes are a necessary preventative measure, as is a slow increase in your mileage.
Thanks to the constant pressures put upon the tissues connecting the heel and the leg muscles, runners frequently experience a swelling of these tissues. This condition is usually caused by calf muscles that are too tight, flat feet or not wearing the correct type of shoes. Calves should always be stretched before a run to avoid this condition, and hill running should be kept at a minimum. To help with the pain, stretching, rest, ice, elevation, and compression are all recommended.
Characterized by a sharp, stabbing pain in the shin, this injury occurs when the tendons and muscles that cover the shinbone becoming inflamed. Footwear with shock absorption and arch support may be beneficial prevention techniques. After the injury, elevation and applying ice for at least 15 minutes can ease the pain. Since this is a common running injury, it’s important to know the signs to prevent more damage.
This condition occurs when there is an irritation or tearing of the tissue on the bottom of the runner’s foot. Runners who frequent roads or use footwear with inadequate support often experience this condition, which results in either stiffness or a sharp pain in the foot’s arch. Preventative measures include extra cushion in the footwear and stretching the heel. Night splints and steroid shots are common relievers of pain.
While minor aches and pains are normal for runners, you shouldn’t be experiencing moderate to severe pain every time you go running. It’s important to rest when needed and follow up with a doctor if your pain does not go away so you don’t injure yourself more.
Informational credit to Noyes Knee Institute.