Are you thinking about taking up running?
It’s a brilliant way to get outside and feel the fresh air in your lungs as you push your body and become fitter. There are plenty of health benefits of running that you should definitely learn about, but there are some concerns to be wary of at the same time.
Primarily, you can get injuries when running – as you can with any other form of exercise, true. Nevertheless, running injuries are more common, and it’s usually because people don’t wear the right gear, forget to warm up, and don’t use the proper running technique. When you nail these things, injuries are less common. Still, it helps to know what the most common running injuries are so you can plan to prevent them. Also, if you’ve recently started running and feel pain somewhere in your body, perhaps this list can help you figure out what injury you have.
When an injury is named after running, you know it’s a common problem people face. Essentially, runner’s knee refers to pain you feel around your knee/kneecap, usually on the front. You might only get it in one knee, but it tends to flare up during or after your runs and will linger for a few days. Your knee can feel really stiff as well, and the pain gets worse when you’re going upstairs or doing things that stress the joint – like squatting or lunging.
Typically, runner’s knee can be treated with rest and recovery. By following a rehabilitation program, you can do exercises that strengthen the structures around the knee joint, preventing extra strain on it. This means your knees are put under less stress when you run, reducing the chances of this problem occurring.
Suffering from pain in your foot? There’s a high chance you might have plantar fasciitis if you’re an avid runner. It’s easily the most common foot injury, and it’s such an easy one to diagnose. In essence, this problem comes from the bottom of your foot becoming inflamed and irritated. The tissue here – called fascia – is put under increased stress and workload, meaning it flares up and gets really sore. Thus, you walk around with a burning pain in the bottom of your foot that hurts whenever you walk.
It can feel worse in the morning, and the more you run, the more painful it gets. Plantar fasciitis is normally caused by improper footwear providing no support for your feet, or it can be caused by flat feet. This is because there’s no arch in your foot to support it, so the fascia on the bottom takes a battering. Better footwear or insoles can offer more support, reducing the stress the fascia is put under.
Rest and recovery are also in order, but you should be good to run again with your new gear on your feet. Also, some people with weak or tight calves can suffer from plantar fasciitis, so improving these issues can solve the problem.
A ridiculously common injury that can stop you from running for many weeks if you don’t recognize it sooner. Shin splints are pain that starts in the front part of your lower leg, right along the shin bone and muscle. Again, it is primarily caused by improper footwear and poor running technique, both of which put far too much stress on the tissues and ligaments in your lower legs. Running too frequently and too hard can also be a cause of this issue.
Shin splints give you a dull pain that gets worse the more you run, and it can lead to swelling in the shin area too. You can get relief by icing your shins, but the best way to recover is by resting and finding suitable footwear. Ideally, you need running shoes that provide ample cushioning and stability, and you can read more here to learn which shoes are the best. Be sure to rest your shins and ice them until the pain goes away, then ease yourself back into a running routine with some light jogs in your new footwear.
Ankle injuries are also rather common when you run, and Achilles tendinitis is the most frequent of them all. This is when the Achilles’ tendon becomes inflamed, normally due to overuse. It can lead to pain in the back of your heel and just at the bottom of your calf. When left untreated, the pain will get worse and worse, to the point where you might even tear it. If. This happens, surgery will be required.
Naturally, you want to avoid this, which is why you need to prevent and treat Achilles tendinitis as best as possible. The only way to treat it is by resting and letting the inflammation die down. You may also want to revise your running technique as this could be what’s causing the extra stress on the tendon and leading to inflammation.
You can pull any number of muscles when running, but the hamstring is the biggest victim. It’s the massive meaty muscle on the underside of your thigh, and it works a lot when you run. A lot of people have tight hamstrings, meaning a hamstring pull is very possible when running.
The problem with pulling your hamstring is that you further weaken the muscle, making it more likely you could tear it in the future. Preventing hamstring strains is all about a combination of stretching the muscle and strengthening it. When you do this, your hamstring isn’t tight and is strong enough to handle the loads you put it under while running. Correctly warming up beforehand will also help a lot!
If you have recently started running and experience pain whenever you step outside or finish your workouts, it could be due to one of these injuries. Those of you that are thinking of running should be aware of these injuries and how to diagnose and prevent them. This should help you start running without the constant worry of injuries.