Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Orthopedic Associates' Blog

How Runners Can Prevent 7 Common Injuries
How Runners Can Prevent 7 Common Injuries

By: Dr. Pitts

There’s a certain amount of pain that is to be expected with running; sore muscles after a long workout or tired feet after a race. A bit of discomfort that can be soothed with a long soak in the tub and rest is nothing unusual. However, there are specific injuries that can happen to runners that require medical attention and recuperation (e.g. no running) time.

Many of these injuries can be avoided with a bit of intention and preparation. Here some of the most common running injuries and how to avoid them.

Runner’s Knee

The medical term for runner’s knee is patellofemoral pain syndrome, but it’s really just a fancy way of saying that you’ve got pain around or behind your kneecap. Runners are repetitively pounding their feet on the ground, and this force is compounded when running downhill or running with weak hips. To prevent this pain, stick with running on flat or uphill surfaces. Avoid hard surfaces (like pavement) and stick to running on grass, a rubberized track or other soft surfaces. If the pain doesn’t go away, try wearing a knee brace or taping your knee and running less until the pain subsides.

Pulled Muscles

Running involves many muscles across the entire body, and if you’re not incorporating strength training, there’s a good chance that you might strain or pull a muscle. These injuries can be painful and take days or weeks to improve. If you plan to run, it’s in your best interest to take the time to lift weights as well so you have strong muscles to support your body as you move. Think you don’t have time? If you don’t take the time to build your muscles, you might end up losing even more time recovering from an injury. Even a few bodyweight moves at the end of a short run and some resistance training can go a long way toward injury prevention.

Achilles Tendinitis

The tissue that connects your heel to your lower leg muscles, known as the Achilles, can swell and cause pain when running or walking. This pain can be caused by overdoing a new routine, suddenly increasing your mileage, wearing shoes that don’t fit properly or naturally flat feet. To avoid pain in your Achilles, avoid climbing hills (which can cause stress to tendons). You should also make sure to properly stretch your calf muscles after your workout and wear the right shoes. An orthopedist or store that specializes in running shoes should be able to help you find the right fit.

Plantar Fasciitis

The tissue on the bottoms of your feet – the plantar fascia – can become inflamed, irritated and even torn if you’re running regularly. This damage is caused by the excess pounding of your feet on the road (or the aforementioned unsupportive footwear). The result is pain that feels like stabbing in your arches or uncomfortable stiffness in the feet. Make sure your shoes have extra support and stretch your heels and the bottoms of your feet. Be sure to take rest days to give your feet a rest and visit your doctor if the problem persists.

Shin Splints

Some runners get them and others are lucky, but shin splints are among the most common painful injuries that runners get. They are caused by inflammation of the muscles and tendons that cover the shinbone. Although they tend to be more difficult to prevent, research has shown that shock-absorbing insoles with arch support can help. Once again, it is important to seek soft ground and avoid hills when possible.

Blisters and Chafing

Even runners have likely experienced painful blisters and chafing from wearing improperly fitting shoes. They can occur during the course of even one run as the top layer of skin on your feet rubs against your shoes. They are common, but the good news is that they are easy to prevent with shoes that fit well, and cushioned socks made of synthetic material. If you do end up with a blister, you can get some relief by applying an adhesive bandage, gel or moleskin.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

If distance running is your jam, you are at increased risk for iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS). The Iliotibial band is a dense tendon that stretches from your pelvic bone all the way down your thigh. When it becomes inflamed, you might experience pain on the outside of your knee. If you plan on training for a long-distance run, downhill running or have weak hips you should incorporate stretching and foam rolling to decrease inflammation and reduce pain. If you’re already experiencing pain, over-the-counter pain meds and rest can help.

You’ve probably noticed that many of these issues are caused by inflammation, which is caused by sudden increases in activity. Also, many of them can be helped by rest and stretching. Take this as a hint that you should always make slow changes to your fitness regimen, and gradually increase your activity, mileage and time spent running. Always check with your doctor before starting any fitness regimen, and speak up if you experience pain or discomfort.

To learn more about preventing injuries while exercising and for keeping your body healthy and free of pain, contact the experts at Orthopedic Associates!

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Avatar  Can Someone Write My Essay 11 months ago

Running regularly at a steady pace can really open up your leg muscles and provide so much strength in your body that your whole day can be run through without any uneasiness.