According to a report in 2022, there are about 50 million Americans engaged in some sort of running or jogging. Running is a great way to keep your fitness level up, boost your metabolism, and make your muscles healthier. However, it is possible to suffer injuries from running.
There are many common injuries, and if you ignore them, they can get even worse. So how can you prevent running injuries?
Keep reading to learn about the most common injuries among runners and how to avoid them.
1. Runner’s Knee
This injury happens when the knee joint is not properly aligned or if the muscles and ligaments in the area are weak or overworked. By taking shorter, slower steps, runners can prevent this type of injury. Additionally, wearing proper shoes and orthotics can also help keep the feet and legs in a good position while running.
You can also consult with a knee specialist since it is the best way to ensure proper treatment for a knee injury. They can also provide you with better insight when it comes to prevention and help develop a comprehensive plan for you. With their guidance, they can help you strengthen the muscles that support the knee joint and provide education for proper running mechanics.
2. Plantar Fasciitis
It’s a common running injury caused by the overstretching of the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel to the toes. Symptoms include pain in the heel and/or arch of the foot, especially when standing first thing in the morning.
Treatment includes icing the area to reduce inflammation, taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers, and stretching the foot and calf muscles regularly. Night splints may also be used to keep the foot stretched while sleeping.
3. Shin Splints
It is generally felt as an aching or sharp pain along the inner part of the lower leg. It occurs as a result of overuse and excessive strain on the lower leg muscles and shin bone. The symptoms range from mild to severe and include sharp or dull pain, aching, and even burning pain, depending on the severity.
Mild symptoms can be relieved through rest, massage, and stretching. Additionally, it can be prevented by avoiding overtraining and introducing a proper warm-up and cool-down routine.
4. Achilles Tendinitis
It’s typically caused by overuse, poor running mechanics, or inadequate stretching. It is characterized by pain and stiffness in the Achilles tendon, the large band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.
To treat Achilles tendinitis, rest is key, as well as using compression and icing the area. Additionally, stretching exercises or physical therapy to improve the flexibility of the tendon can help.
5. Iliotibial Band Syndrome
It’s caused by inflammation of the Iliotibial band, which runs from the hip to the shin. This can cause pain on the outside of the knee, which can make running painful and uncomfortable.
Treatment usually involves rest, ice, and stretching/strengthening exercises to reduce inflammation and restore function. A foam roller can also be used to massage the IT band, which helps reduce any tightness and tension.
Evading the Common Running Injuries
Running is a great way to stay healthy, but injuries can be common. To avoid these running injuries, runners should warm up, wear proper footwear, and wear weather-appropriate clothing.
If you develop an injury, speak to a healthcare provider to help you create a safe plan for returning to running. Start today and be safe while running!
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