The advantages of running are endless, with many people loving how the activity provides immense health benefits and joy. However, the repeated movements involved can end up being hard on our bodies, and many know this from all the stories or firsthand experience. Those common running injuries can leave our running shoes in our closets for weeks to months at a time!
This is why it’s important to know about these running injuries to prevent it from hindering you and your performance. Based on experts like Brisbane Doctors, here are the common running injuries you need to know about.
Common Running Injuries
Running is a thrill that many enjoy, but it can also come with consequences if you don’t run properly or overdo it. There are many ways to prevent it, with the first step being to know more about the running injuries. Here are the following injuries you should watch out for and prevent as much as possible:
- Runner’s Knee
This is known as patellofemoral syndrome, with runner’s knee as it’s general term. It is referred to as the pain in front of your knee or around the kneecap. This is a common overuse injury in sports involving jumping and/or running.
Those who experience weakness in the hips or knee muscles can have an increased risk of developing this injury. It would cause pain that is:
- Dull and felt in one or both the knees
- Ranging from mildly painful to very painful
- Worsening if you perform prolonged exercising or sitting
- Worsening as you jump, squat, and climb stairs
It might even cause cracking or popping sounds after staying stationary for long periods. Doctors would diagnose runner’s knee with physical exams and also recommend an X-ray to rule out any other conditions. There are specific treatment plans a physical therapist will provide you to treat this injury.
- Achilles Tendinitis
This injury refers to the inflammation of your tendon connecting from the calf muscle to heel. The injury usually occurs after you increased your mileage or running intensity.
If you leave the injury untreated, it can increase the risk of rupturing the Achilles tendon. If ever the tendon becomes torn, it would usually require surgery for repairing.
These are the common symptoms of Achilles tendinitis:
- Dull pain in the lower leg, above the heel
- Swelling along the Achilles tendon
- Warm feeling around the tendon
- Limited range of motion as you flex your foot towards the shin
- Hamstring Issues
Hamstrings would help decelerate your lower legs as you perform the swing phase of the running cycle. If ever your hamstrings are tired, tight, or weak, they end up being more prone to any injuries.
Distance runners are less prone to hamstring tears compared to sprinters. Distance runners would experience hamstring strains coming slowly, which are caused by the repetitive small tears in fibers and connective tissue around the hamstring muscle.
For those who have hamstring injuries, you might experience the following symptoms:
- Dull pain on the back of the upper leg
- Hamstring muscle feeling tender to the touch
- Weak or stiff feeling in the hamstring
- Plantar Fasciitis
This is a very common foot injury involving the irritation or degeneration of a thick layer of tissue, known as the fascia, which is located at the bottom of our feet.
The fascia is a layer of tissue acting as the spring as you walk or run. If you increase your running volume too quickly, it may put the fascia under more stress. Muscle tightness and weak calves may also increase the risk of this injury.
The symptoms would usually include the following:
- Pain developing gradually around your heel and/or midfoot
- Pain that feels worse during the morning and/or after performing prolonged activities
- You feel a burning sensation at the bottom of one or both your feet
- Shin Splints
Shin splints, also known as tibial stress syndrome, refers to the pain occurring in the front or inner parts of the lower legs, along the shinbone. These can occur as you increase the volume of running too quickly, especially if you run on hard surfaces.
Shin splints usually aren’t serious and with proper rest, they would go away on its own. However, if you leave it untreated, it may end up becoming stress fractures. These are the symptoms of shin splints:
- Mind swelling
- Tenderness around the area
- Pain worsening as you exercise
- Dull pain along the front or inner parts of the shinbone
You can help treat your shin splints with proper rest or to cut back on how far or frequently you run.
As mentioned, there are also stress fractures, which are hairline cracks forming on the bone from repetitive impact or stress. For runners, these would occur in the heel, lower leg, or top of the feet. If ever you suspect you have a stress fracture, you’ll need to see your doctor for treatment immediately, and it will be diagnosed through an X-ray.
The symptoms would include:
- Pain worsening over time and can be felt even when at rest
- Bruising, swelling, tenderness in the area of the stress fracture
It would take between 6-8 weeks for a stress fracture to heal, with some need to use crutches and wear a cast for a certain period.
Wrapping It Up
Whether you’re running professionally or for fun, you may experience a few aches and pains along the way. That’s why you need to know the common running injuries to know if that pain is something serious, so you can treat it right away. Things like physiotherapy can help you answer your questions and to receive the right treatment to continue running.
Hopefully, you are now more familiar with the different running injuries and what it entails. Do your best to prevent any of these injuries from happening to you, and if you feel any of the symptoms mentioned above, talk with your doctor about it for immediate treatment.
Do you have any questions or want to share your experiences and insights with any of these running injuries? Comment your thoughts down below, these are all much appreciated!