Common Running Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Posted On Thursday, 02 May 2019
Common Running Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Many people enjoy running and some even go for a jog almost every day. That’s not a surprise since running is a great physical activity and also an effective stress reliever.

However, no matter how rewarding this exercise is, injuries can occur if you’re not careful. Here is a list of the most common running injuries and some tips on how you can avoid them.

Runner’s Knee
This injury usually occurs if you’re training for a race. It is also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome. The underside of your knee (padded by soft cartilage) becomes irritated and is causing discomfort. Runner’s knee can sometimes also be used to describe conditions that cause pain in that area, including pes anserine tendonitis/bursitis.

Probably the best advice for avoiding runner’s knee is to slow down on your training as soon as you feel any discomfort in that area. Don’t push through the pain, because it’s only going to become worse. Also, avoid running in hills or other slopes in order to avoid putting any additional pressure on your knees.

Shin Splints
Also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, shin splints are caused by inflammation around your tibia; more precisely, inflammation in the tendons, muscles and bone tissue of your tibia. This condition is usually caused by repetitive use of the leg and the symptoms include pain on the tibia’s inner border. Shin splints can also be caused by sudden increases in activity, wearing flat or rigid arches or wearing worn-out footwear.

In order to avoid getting shin splints, you should always make sure that your running shoes fit you perfectly. Also, when your shoes are worn out or you feel any discomfort, make sure to change them. Additionally, don’t push yourself to the limit, and rather gradually increase your activity and running distances in order to avoid this condition.

Blisters
Blisters are not much of a traditional “injury,” as much as they are painful, cause discomfort and are overall unpleasant. If they pop, you can wind up with an open wound that can lead to other serious infections, conditions and injuries. They are caused when the heel rubs against the shoe and the top layer of your skin tears, leaving a bubble between two layers of skin.

To prevent blisters, the first thing to consider is that your running shoes fit you well and they are comfortable. You can reduce the friction with appropriate socks, such as Rockay anti-blister socks for example, and make sure your foot is always protected.

Achilles Tendonitis
Simply put, this is the inflammation of the largest tendon in your body. Achilles tendonitis manifests as pain along the back of your leg, near the heel. There are two types of this injury. One is noninsertional Achilles tendinitis and it is more common in young people who are active. It is caused by tiny tears in your tendon and is accompanied by thickening and swelling. And the second one is insertional Achilles tendinitis which affects the area where your heel and tendon meet.

If you want to avoid this injury and reduce your risks, you should gradually increase the level of your activity. Also, make sure to have shoes that provide cushioning of your heel, do exercises to strengthen your calf muscles and make sure to alternate high and low impact activities.

Pulled Muscles
A pulled muscle is probably one of the most common injuries with runners. It results when your muscle is overstretched, and the fibers and tendons can tear. Overusing your muscles, inflexibility and not doing enough warm-up before running are the most common causes of a pulled muscles.

Make sure to have a proper warm-up before you start running. You should do some stretching and contracting of the muscles before running, and at the end, make sure you have a proper cool-down and light stretching.

Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the band tissue that connects the base of your toes to the heel bone is inflamed. The symptoms include severe pain in your heel, and you especially notice it when you step out of bed in the morning. It most typically occurs with people who have really flat or really high arches or with people who have particularly tight calf muscles.

The best way to avoid developing this injury when running is by making sure to avoid tension in your ankles and calves. Also, it is extremely important to avoid heel striking when running and focus on landing on your mid-foot with each step.

As you probably already know, running is liberating and rewarding, but it can cause some serious injuries. It all basically comes down to running in appropriate footwear that fits you well and to have a proper warm-up. If you’re careful, every jog will be pleasant.

Ian Lewis

Ian Lewis is a father, writer, and a fitness nut. He’s passionate about many forms of strength training and spent years lifting all kinds of heavy objects.
His favorite quote: There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.

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