7 Common Running Injuries And How To Prevent Them From Happening

When was the last time you heard someone say they’ve picked up running? Be honest what did you think? 

If you’re not a runner, then you probably thought “well, have fun putting yourself through cardio torture.” But, if you are a runner, then you probably thought “you’re going to get super addicted, super fast!” 

Running is just life-changing, it’s like the perfect remedy to stress, burns off a lot of calories, and is one sure way to keep impressing yourself. But, you are almost sure to meet someone who has injured themselves while running, and it stunts their development and progress. 

But, you’ll be glad to know you don’t have to sustain an injury, there are things you can do to avoid them. 

Runner’s Knee

You’ll know when you’ve got runner’s knee; it’s like a sharp pain near your kneecap. It gets worse as you run downhill, or go down a set of stairs. 

What is it?

It’s an irritation of the cartilage just under your kneecap or strained tendons. Often, this injury is linked to having weak hip-rotator muscles. 

Quick Fix:

Right after you finish your run, get a bag of ice on your knee. It would be wise to decrease your run distance and frequency until it gets better. 

Avoid the injury to start with:

You’ll need to strengthen your outer hip muscles by lying on your side and doing leg lifts. 

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB)

When you feel pain around the outside of your knee or (and) your hip. 

What is it?

The ITB is a thick tendon that runs down from your hip to your knee. So, when this tendon gets tight, it sparks tension on the fluid sacs (bursae) that around the hip and knee, which makes them swell. 

Quick Fix:

Lower the mileage on your running distance by 50% for a few weeks, and incorporate low-intensity cross-training into your routine. 

Avoid the injury to start with:

Foam rollers are great, so either invest in one or use the one in your gym. Roll on your side to break the tissue tensions. You’ll need to add some strengthening exercises into your workouts as well. 

Shin Splints

You’ll normally feel this at the beginning of your run; it’s a sharp pain on the inside or the outside of your shins. 

What is it?

Shin splints are an inflammation of the muscles or the tendons that are around your shinbone. 

Quick Fix:

After your run ice the area and stretch out your calf muscles, you’ll need to ease up on your running or stop completely until the pain goes away. 

Avoid the injury to start with:

Ease into your distance. Most runners who get shin splints are often beginners and think they’re body can handle a lot more than it actually can. Take it slow to start with and increase distance and speed over time. If you have flat feet, then you might be more at risk of sustaining this type of injury, it’ll be wise to speak to your doctor first. 

Achilles Tendinitis 

This pain is around the back of your leg, close to your heel. 

What is it?

It is the inflammation of the largest tendon in your body, the Achilles, which connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. 

Quick Fix:

You might want to swap your running for low-intensity cross-training until you’re ready to run again. 

Avoid the injury to start with:

Workout your calf muscles to strengthen the connections between your Achilles and your heel. Calf raises are a good go-to exercise.

Plantar Fasciitis

You’ll feel pain run along the bottom of your foot near your heels; it’ll normally feel worse when you get out of bed. 

What is it?

It’s in irritation or inflammation of the connective tissue that connects your heel and forefoot, plantar fascia. 

Quick Fix:

You’ll need to freeze a bottle of water and then roll it over the soles of your feet. 

Avoid the injury to start with:

Your best option is to avoid wearing very high heels and flip-flops which offer little support to the arches in your feet. 

Hamstring Strain 

Even if you’re not a runner, you’ve probably felt this pain before. It runs along the back of your leg. 

What is it?

It’s a cut or an overstretch in one of the three muscles in your back upper leg. 

Quick Fix:

You’ll need to rest your legs and use ice to relieve the pain. Your recovery time depends on how bad your injury was. 

Avoid the injury to start with:

You’ll need to strengthen your core and hips with exercises like side leg lifts. 

Piriformis Syndrome

You’ll know when you’ve got this injury if you’ve got tightening pain, tingling, or numbness running down your legs, that seems to get worse as you climb up a flight of stairs. 

What is it?

It’s what happens when the piriformis muscles, which is one of the muscles in your buttocks, putting pressure on your sciatic nerve. 

Quick Fix:

You’ll need to rest and stretch. 

Avoid the injury to start with:

Try not to run on uneven surfaces and try exercising your hip abductors more through the week. 

P.S: We did not make these names up! 
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