Whether you’re a beginner jogger or a seasoned marathoner, you are bound to face one of these running injuries at a certain point on your “speedy” journey. Most of those who run on a regular basis admit to having some sort of running injury, but in a very mild form, which doesn’t prevent them from running altogether, but which is uncomfortable at times. Let’s have a look at the most common running injuries, so you can learn to recognize them and prevent them from ruining your progress for good.
Top 3 Running Injuries
1. Runner’s Knee
This is probably the most often encountered running injury. It happens when the cartilage below the kneecap gets irritated, and that’s when running gets painful- it usually flares up after sitting for a long while, or during long runs or hill practice. This is the main cause why everyone advises you to not run on pavement unless you have really good shoes, so as to protect all your joints. But apart from the extra pressure to the knee, another cause is actually a bit surprising: you can get runner’s knee if you have weak quads, hips or glutes… in case you needed an extra reason to go to the gym.
This is one of the running injuries that you can run through, but always be careful to take it easy and reduce your mileage greatly. The more you rest the sooner you recover. Shortening your stride usually helps prevent this running injury from reappearing, so try to take shorter steps next time you go on a run to prevent this.
Shinsplints is a more common name for the running injury that is medically called “medial tibial stress syndrome”, and it manifests itself by pain around the shin bone (tibia). This is caused by small tears that occur around this bone, and they are common to beginner runners or those who have taken a break and want to get back into it. Wearing the wrong shoes, or even overused shoes, can also put you at risk.
If you have shinsplints you should reduce your mileage greatly, and remember that rest and ice packs are your friends. To prevent it, try doing come calf raises while you keep the balls of your feet on a stair. As you lower yourself, make sure your heel goes down below parallel level, and then back up. That way you prevent this running injury by strengthening your muscles.
3. ITBS (Iliotibial Band Syndrome)
Again, the knee. But not quite. The IT band stretches outside the thigh from the knee to the hip. When you run, the IT band rubs onto the femur, so if you increase your mileage quickly it can get irritated. The symptoms are twinges or even pain on the outside of the knee that happen as you run. When the condition is a bit more serious it can also hurt to climb stairs or a hill.
In order to both treat this and to prevent it, you should strengthen your hip abductors with exercises such as side steps and side leg lifts. Foam rollers also help, so try to massage your IT band a little before and after runs, to make sure that it can relax properly after strenuous exercise.
Let us know what running injuries you’ve had and how you treated them in the comments below.
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