At least 50% of runners become injured every year. If you’re a runner, getting injured can mean taking weeks or even months off. Luckily, there are many ways you can avoid injury, as long as you know what to watch out for.
Here are the 5 most common running injuries:
1. Shin Splints
Shin splints can be incredibly painful and often go hand-in-hand with increased mileage or intensity if you’re not careful. Unfortunately, continuing to train on shin splints can even result in a stress fracture.
Shin splints can be avoided by ensuring you have the right shoes for your foot types, and they’re not worn out. Try to avoid running on hard surfaces like concrete, and always stretch your calves before and after your runs.
2. Runner’s Knee
Also known as patellofemoral knee syndrome, runner’s knee feels like a constant ache in or under your kneecap when you’re running. Runner’s knee is common among new runner’s, as they’re most likely to have problems with their form.
If you have weak hips or quads or tend to wear poor shoes, you’ll have a greater chance of getting runner’s knee. You can avoid it by shortening your strike, upgrading your shoes, and running on even surfaces.
3. Achilles Tendinitis
Achilles tendinitis is when your Achilles tendon is inflamed. Unfortunately, this is one of those injuries that can take a while to heal, since it’s so far from your heart- meaning less blood flow.
You’ll know you have Achilles tendonitis if you have lower leg pain right above your heel. This area will often swell, and it’s one of those running injuries that can be incapacitating.
Often, tight calves can lead to Achilles tendinitis, since they put a strain on your tendons. And, like the other injuries above, the wrong footwear can contribute to this injury. Make sure you’re increasing your mileage slowly, and get fitted for the right shoes for your feet.
4. IT Band Syndrome
Your IT Band (Iliotibial band) connects your hip to your knee. This syndrome occurs when the tendon gets inflamed, and what may begin as an annoyance can quickly have you hanging up your shoes.
Running downhill can put stress on your IT band, and you should also avoid always running on the same side of the road. As your IT band tightens, it will swell- causing pain and preventing you from running.
Avoid running aggressively downhill, and switch directions on your route. Strengthen your glutes, hamstrings, and quads, and make sure you’re stretching enough. Try a foam roller to loosen up your IT band after running.
5. Plantar Fasciitis
This inflammation occurs at the bottom of your foot and feels like a sharp, tight pain in your heel.
While it may disappear while you’re training, it will usually come back until you treat it.
While overuse and overtraining can contribute to Plantar Fasciitis, it stems from weakened and tight foot muscles. That’s why you’ll need to strengthen and stretch your calves and use a golf ball to loosen your foot muscles after running.
Avoiding Running Injuries in 2019
As you can see, the above running injuries usually have a few signs and symptoms before they get serious. And most can be avoided by scaling up your mileage slowly and wearing the right shoes.
Want to learn more about staying healthy as a runner? Check out some of our helpful blog posts today.