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5 Most Common Running Injuries You Should Know

Posted by Simon Bowman on January 7, 2021

Running is known to be a high-impact exercise, which means that your body takes the beating when you pound the pavement and run for a long period of time. If you are a beginner, running for a long period of time may be overwhelming and you may end up with muscle aches, here and there. Depending on the practice and pain tolerance, these muscle aches can affect your daily routines. Through time, your body will adapt to the muscle stress and aches will not be as intense anymore. 

Injuries, however, may also happen. You may suffer a sprain, tear a muscle, or suffer from a tweak when you run. In this post, we will feature the five most common running injuries with the goal of presenting its common causes and the first line of management that you can do to address it.

Disclaimer: It is still best to consult a sports medicine professional when injuries happen. 

Runner’s Knee

Runner's Knee

Runner's knee is a dull, achy pain that you will feel underneath your kneecap. It is usually felt during running especially if you go uphill or walk down the stairs. This is the most common running injury, especially for beginners. The pain may start at the beginning of the run, subside throughout, but may pick up again as soon as you stop running. 

Management:

  • You need to stop running and to limit inflammation.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications can also help. 

Shin Splints

Shin Splints

Shin splints are also one of the most common running injuries. You will feel this not only when you’re running, but even when you’re walking and pulling your foot upward or stretching it downward. The pain typically occurs on the inner or outer side of your shins. 

This running injury happens when there is repetitive trauma to the connective tissue that attaches a muscle to the tibia bone. The tissue then breaks down, becomes inflamed, and progresses into forming scar tissues during the healing process. This is what commonly causes pain and tightness. 

Management: Since shin splints are an overuse injury;

  • You will have to stop running for a few weeks.
  • Ice and compression can also help. 

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis causes sharp pain on the bottom of the foot near your heel. Poor running techniques, having flat feet, and weakness of the hips can cause it. Also, weakness of the core muscles, having poor control of pelvic positioning, and nerve irritation in the lower back can contribute to this pain. 

Management: To heal plantar fasciitis:

  • Stretch and do heel raises to make the muscles crossing underneath the foot, strong.
  • A good arch support will also take some stress off and it can strengthen your hips and core. 

Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation and pain in your Achilles tendon, especially when you are walking, running, raising up on your toes, and stretching your calf muscles. It is an aching and dull pain, usually right where the muscle transitions to the tendon. 

Management:

  • To treat it, you need to rest from high-impact activity until the pain slowly resolves.
  • Icing the injured area can also help you feel a lot better.
  • Strengthening and stretching the muscles can also help. 

 Stress Fractures

Stress Fracture

Stress fractures can be experienced in the shin bone, metatarsals, and fibula. The most common symptom you will experience with stress fracture is localized pain. The pain is usually different from what people experience with shin splints because it gets worse the longer you exercise. 

Management: Stress fractures are not something that you can run through, it can make the problem worse and it can set you up for a real fracture.

  • Depending on the severity of the injury, you might be looking at three to six weeks of rest
  • Stop running for the meantime.
  • Once pain is no longer felt, you can return to running, in a gradual manner. 

One in every five Australians are said to have tried running at one point in their lives. It is appealing to almost everyone because it needs no equipment, and you can do it anytime- when it’s most convenient for you.

To maximize the effects of a running exercise and prevent injuries, two of the simplest practices you can build are hydration and stretching.

If you need more help about running injuries or any other sports injuries, you can reach out to me and we’ll talk about how we can best manage it. Recover faster, recover better. 

Happy running! Until next post… 

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