Even some of the careful runners who think that they have taken all the necessary precautions to keep their body safe from varied injuries related to running are prone to hurting themselves. The reality is that many of the injuries are caused when you are unaware of your own body limits and cannot realize certain changes happening in your body. Additionally, when these injuries occur you do not treat them immediately rather stay on track that may worsen situation. When you get yourself more aware of these common injuries, you will be able to better learn about prevention and treatment. Anyone from a newbie to an experienced runner trying to go beyond their limits can be affected by these injuries.
Common Running Injuries:
Here we are sharing some of the common running injuries and will also be offering some tips for prevention and for proper treatment of injuries.
1. Runner’s Knee:
This injury would involve a certain mild pain in the area of your kneecap. This happens in case of repetitive force being exerted on knee cap, running down a hill or due to imbalance of muscles. The intensity and location of this injury may vary. Pain could be dull, sharp or severe and can be observed around knee, at the front or behind the kneecap.
Treatment: When you are suffering from such injury, try to avoid running on hard surfaces or on rough terrains, rather opt for a smooth space. For treatment of pain, it would be best to consult a physician and he may suggest taping or bracing of knee and would give medications for inflammation. While suffering from this injury, you would need to cut back your running routine.
2. Achilles Tendinitis:
It is basically swelling of Achilles that are tissues connecting your lower leg muscles with your heel. Many factors may contribute to cause this injury including wearing improper running shoes, increasing intensity and mileage instantly, flat foot and more.
Treatment: Wear a good pair of shoes that support running activities well. Avoid hill climbing and any other activity or workout that may stress your affected muscles. Proper rest, icing, compression and elevation would aid in recovery along with some light stretching and medications.
3. Plantar Fasciitis:
This injury is inflammation or irritation in the bottom of your feet that gives you sharp and painful sensations in your feet. Problem may further lead to excessive stiffness and pain. This injury may be a result of overtraining, improper worn foot wear and strapping.
Treatment: Shoes with extra cushioning Orthotics and stability shoe would prove useful and would help in reducing pain. Icing on the affected area would give you relief too. You may even get aid from a steroid shot if you want speedy recovery to get on tracks again. Some specific stretching techniques can also help with Plantar Fasciitis.
4. Shin Splints:
Aching and stabbing sensation in your shins are a result of splints that many runners experience. This aching is one of the most frustrating injury for runners as their muscles and tendons experience inflammation. You may feel like avoiding running as the experience can be extremely painful around shin area and this injury can even result in a stress fracture.
Treatment: Icing the area for good 20 minutes can give some relief and may reduce swelling. Moreover it is recommended to keep the leg elevated and swelling would greatly reduce. Many studies and doctors recommend use of shock absorbing shoes that would give good support to your arch. Remain on flat ground and avoid hills and terrains.
5. Iliotibial Band Syndrome:
If you are experiencing pain outside the knee, it could be an injury termed as Iliotibial band. It is a muscle inflammation that runs outside the thigh from hip (pelvic bone) to external area of knee.
Treatment:Running on only one side, downhill running or naturally weak hips can be culprit behind these injuries. Use of a foam roller and icing can help that area to recover and would reduce pain and swelling.
6. Stress Fracture:
These are tiny cracks in your bones that would cause discomfort and pain. It happens because of excessive repeated amount of force exerted on your leg bones beyond their limit to bear. These fractures usually happen when you work too hard with running and X-rays would reveal this injury.
Treatment: In case of stress fractures you would need to take some time off from running and treatment would also include physical therapy. It is best to have intake of calcium, avoid overtraining and use proper running shoes to avoid these fractures.
7. Ankle Sprain:
Ankle sprain may occur when your ankle rolls in or out and it can give you severe pain. One of the main reasons could be unintentional bad landing and recovery may not be really quick.
Treatment: Some balancing exercises can help your muscles around affected area to strengthen. An air cast or brace for your ankle may be recommended by your doctor and you may need to tap it up as you hit the tracks again in order to avoid re-twisting of ankle.
Blisters can happen anytime and can be really annoying. It happens when your heel gets rubbed against your running shoes and top skin layer tears creating a bubble within your skin layers.
Treatment: Prevention is truly better than cure in this case. You should opt for a pair of shoes that perfectly fits and wear them with a pair of good quality synthetic socks. Blisters should be covered with Band-Aids or moleskins.
9. Pulled Muscles:
Overstretching of muscles can result in causing a muscle to pull. This happens when you over train your cold muscles that lack flexibility. Thus a proper warm-up before run is essential in order to avoid pulling and tear of muscles.
Treatment: It could be really painful and thus you would need to take off from running for around a week depending upon your condition and pain. Gentle stretching must be done along with icing around affected muscle.
Tips for Prevention against Running Injuries:
- Wear a right pair of running shoes that is not only properly fitted but is comfortable too. Some high quality shoes may be expensive but it would be best for your fitness and comfortable running to get a good pair of shoes that is both light weight and durable. A good pair of shoes would enable you to travel more miles. Although varied manufacturers are making different versions of running shoes to suit runners’ needs and budget.
- Follow a proper pre-workout warm-up routine along with a cool down routine after running. This would enable you to run longer and will also prevent you from injuries.
- Do not over do or intensify running activities instantly. Go slow with running and gradually increase pace or distance of running. Studies say that each week running pace or distance target must not be increased more than 10% of what you are currently doing. Building it up too quickly would not be suitable for runner at any skill level. Make a gradual building up plan and follow.
- Your body has certain limits. You must be aware of those limits and should not over do in order to prevent yourself from injuries. Run throughout the week but it is essential to take a day off so that your body can get some time to recover. For that day you may even prefer going easy rather than taking an off and thus include a mix of light running and exercising keeping your body at ease.
- Proper form is essential. While running you should ensure that proper technique is followed so that you don’t suffer any unnecessary pain. Improper form may result in pains and splints. Maintain a proper balance so that you have less problems to face while running.
- It is better to avoid running on uneven surfaces that may exert excessive stress on your muscles and bones. You may enjoy off-road running but it is best to avoid rough areas so that you don’t suffer twists and pulled muscles.
We have shared some of the common injuries that most of the runners face and it is best to avoid these injuries in first place rather than let them happen and then suffer unnecessary trouble of treatment and pains. Follow the precautionary tips that we have shared and you will be able to avoid most of the injuries. Injuries are culprits that could affect your motivation to a large extent. You may find it difficult to cover up those injuries and start running again after recovery. So best to avoid them. The main idea is to listen to your body carefully and make sure that you don’t exert stress and pressure beyond your limits. Additionally, if you are suffering from these injuries; it is recommended to recover sufficiently before starting running routine again.