Running is one of the most popular ways to keep fit for many individuals around the world. Regardless of whether you are a casual jogger or an avid runner who engages in marathons frequently, running injuries can typically appear.
In most cases, the more you run, the more you are likely to get injured. For this reason, it's a good idea to educate yourself on common running injuries.
Running injuries are mainly caused by a mixture of three factors: use of incorrect technique, a sudden increase in training volume, and biomechanical imbalance. Although you can diagnose your overuse injury on your own, other serious running injuries will require you to visit a medical specialist for treatment.
Remember, prevention is better than cure. So le's talk about what the most common running injuries are, and how to prevent them.
1. Plantar fasciitis
Plantar fascia is a band of tissue found on the bottom of your feet and runs from your heel to your forefoot. These bands of muscles help in maintaining the arch when jumping, running, or walking. Plantar fasciitis occurs when there is scarring or tearing of the plantar fascia.
Some symptoms include pain in your heel when walking or running, especially in the evening or early in the morning.
Here's how to avoid it.
Stretching your Achilles tendons and calf muscles can help with prevention. Additionally, try to avoid wearing high arches, flat shoes, or old running shoes—the lack of support won't do you any favors.
If you're already dealing with Plantar fasciitis, take a rest and try exercising your tendons to break the tension. It's also important to visit your physician who will examine your biomechanics and make footwear recommendations.
2. Shin splints
Shin splints are inclusive terms that refer to any injuries that occur on your tendons, muscles, or the surface of the bones in your shins, and the main symptom is pain in your shins when you start running. The pain will worsen gradually, and you may start experiencing excruciating pain eve while walking.
Here's what you can do.
These are the most common injuries that are experienced by new runners. Shin splits generally occur when you increase your mileage more rapidly than your body can handle. Other conditions that worsen it include running on hard surfaces and wearing uncomfortable shoes.
Shin splits are usually an overuse injury and can be cured easily. Ensure that you take a rest for your muscles to recover, ice the swollen muscles, and if need be take anti- inflammatory drugs. Proper warm-up and wearing proper running shoes will heal you to avoid reoccurrence of the injury.
3. Runner's knee
Runner’s knee is one of the most common running injuries, and millions of athletes across the world deal with it. Generally, runner’s knee comes from overworking your knees for an extended period of time. This injury will worsen when you do not give the swollen muscles around your knee time to recover.
Overworking your knees will cause the wearing out of the cartilage underneath your kneecap. Some of the recognizable symptoms include inflammation around the knees as well as intense pain under the kneecap while running.
Here's how to avoid it.
Stretching is one of the best ways that you can avoid any injury-related to running. Always ensure that you stretch your tendons and muscles before running. This will warm up your muscles. While doing warm-ups, do some squats and lunges to assist in building up your shins, hamstrings as well as calves of your legs.
If you have strong legs, you are less likely to be affected by this condition. Treatment of this condition is rather simple. Do stretch exercises and other exercises to strengthen your legs. You should also take enough rest to ensure that your muscles have recovered fully.
Blisters are another common injury. Blisters will develop when there is constant rubbing of your shoe against your skin. Blisters may form on your heel, toes, or side of your foot. Remember, if you do not attend the blisters they are at risk of being infected, and this will cause major discomfort as well as pain.
Here's what you can do to prevent them.
The best way to avoid having blisters on your feet is wearing shoes that fit your feet well. Wearing shoes that are too small or too big is the primary cause of the blisters. Another thing you should know is that your feet will sweat profusely while running.
Wearing socks will help to absorb the sweat that may add up friction. For the best results, socks should be long enough to cover your ankle to avoid having blisters on the ankles.
5. Sore muscles
When running, it is also possible to end up with sore muscles. Tiny tears that develop in the muscle fibers cause the sore muscles.
Here's how to avoid them.
The best way to prevent this injury is to ensure that you get proper warm-up in before hitting the road. Additionally, you should start your race slowly and then increase your pace gradually. Having a massage or a hot bath after running will also help to relieve sore muscles facilitating faster recovery.
6. Ankle pain
Various factors can make your ankles hurt after running. The most common cause is wearing uncomfortable shoes that do not give your ankles proper support. Lack of warm up or overexercising can also make the ankles hurt.
Here's how to avoid it.
This is rather simple. You just need to wear proper running shoes that support your ankles and do proper warm-up to prepare your legs and body for the high impact activity.
The (only) good thing about all these running injuries is that they are preventable. Before running, ensure you have a good pair of shoes, do a proper warm-up, avoid overtraining, and perform exercises that strengthen your feet and you can say goodbye to all these injuries.
Additionally, if you feel any unusual pain while running, stop exercising immediately and give your feet a chance to recover. If the pain persists, visit your doctor for examination. Good luck!