5 Most Common Running Injuries

Running Injuries Come on Quickly

Running is hard on the body and you are likely to have some minor aches and pains, especially when just starting. Even so, when small running injuries such as a tender knee or aching hamstring begin, it can be hard to decide what is actually going on and what is causing the issue. 

Soreness is common for runners and roughly 60% of runners experience an injury that requires them to take time off from training every year. The likely culprit for most comes from the shoes they are using. Running shoes are a valuable tool in keeping yourself injury free throughout the year. Finding the right pair that fits your foot, stride and running style is a worthy investment and cannot be overlooked.

Most Common Running Injuries

While getting the proper running shoes can help with a variety of small aches and pains, it cannot help with more serious injuries that come with running. There are other variables likely leading to or causing more serious injuries including overtraining, flexibility, recovery, strength and running form. Whether the injury comes on quickly or slowly they need to be managed in a timeframe that is appropriate to insure optimal healing.

Achilles Tendonitis

What it is:

Achilles tendonitis is an acute overuse injury causing pain and inflammation of the achilles tendon. With repeated overuse it can become a chronic condition called tendonosis. If you feel like you are suffering from an achilles injury you should seek a doctor or physical therapist to develop a treatment plan.

What causes it and how to treat it:

The most likely causes are from overuse, sudden increase in training volume, running on hard surfaces and tight muscles. Talk with your coach about adjusting your training volume or about cross training with a less impactful exercise such as swimming or cycling.

Plantar Fasciitis

What it is:​

Plantar fasciitis is a result of inflammation of the plantar fasci located in the bottom of your foot. Typically the pain is noticeable first thing in the morning or after extended periods of sitting.

What causes it and how to treat it:

Plantar fasciitis is most commonly caused by overuse, improper shoes or insoles, running on hard surfaces, and tight hamstrings & achilles tendon. Like many other injuries, rest and decreasing training volume can dramatically improve symptoms. To decrease inflammation try ice massage or NSAIDs. If you continue to have symptoms you should seek advice from a doctor or physical therapist.

Common Injuries from Running

Runners Knee

What it is:​

Runners knee or patellofemoral pain feels like pain in the front of the knee and behind the knee cap. It is most noticeable after sitting for long periods of sitting, when having to go up and down stairs, or squatting. 

What causes it and how to treat it:

Runners knee can be caused by week hip and thigh muscles, incorrect shoes or insoles, or poor running form such as over striding and excessive heal strike. When pain occurs you should immediately stop and rest. You should evaluate your current shoes and have your stride looked at by a professional. If you are still having pain you should seek a medical doctor or physical therapist to develop a plan to strengthen your hip abductors.

IT Band Syndrome

What it is:​

Iliotibial band syndrome causes pain in the outer hip and knee with most runners experiencing the pain during slower runs rather than faster efforts.

What causes it and how to treat it:

Like most injuries related to running, overuse or incorrect shoes can cause a large amount of the problem. It is also a common injury from running on uneven surfaces or excessive time spent on the track running in circles. IT Band Syndrome is easily treatable at home with rest and stretching. Most individuals get the most relief from foam roller stretches of the hip and glutes.

Shin Splints

What it is:​

Shin splints or medial tibial stress syndrome is an overuse injury that can cause pain across the front of the lower leg during exercise. If the injury is allowed to progress the pain can worsen and continue when not exercising. It is important to take care of this injury as soon as possible because, if left unattended, it can develop into a stress fracture or in extreme cases, a complete fracture.

What causes it and how to treat it:

The best approaches to preventing shin splints are proper training volume, replacing worn shoes and not running on excessively hard surfaces. Constant overuse and prolonged efforts on hard surfaces can create shin splints, especially in those just beginning running. It is important with shin splints that when it starts to occur you take time off to rest and evaluate your current shoes. If you continue to have problems consult a doctor or physical therapist.

Reducing Your Chances of Running Injuries

If you feel like you are having any pain or aches that are not normal, your body is trying to tell you something. Take the time to rest and recover. If you don’t take the time now, you will be forced to take even more time in the future! Have questions about the right training volume? We are here to help! Learn more about Absolute and our coaching programs today!

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