Top 5 Running Injuries:
- Runner’s knee. Chondromalacia patellae, known colloquially as runner’s knee, is a general term describing any damage or irritation to the cartilage under your kneecap. While the exact cause is currently unknown, it’s thought to be related to repetitive stress on the knee joint, or any trauma to the kneecaps. It’s typically associated with a dull pain in the knee, that can be aggravated when your leg is bent.
- Achilles tendinitis. A common overuse injury, Achilles tendinitis is essentially an inflammation of the Achilles tendon – what connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. It can cause pain in the back of your leg, and is commonly brought on by a sudden increase in the intensity of your physical activities.
- Plantar fasciitis. Affecting over 2 million patients each year, plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. It occurs when there is too much pressure placed on the heel, damaging the plantar fascia – the ligament that connects the front of your foot to your heel.
- Shin splints. A term used to describe medial tibial stress syndrome, shin splints can cause runners to feel pain on the inner side of the shin, both during rest and exercise. It’s caused by excessive stress to the shins, and results in small tears in the muscles around the shin bone.
- Stress fractures. Defined as tiny cracks in a bone, stress fractures occur due to repetitive force and are commonly seen in long-distance runners. Symptoms generally include swelling, pain, and tenderness in any affected areas.
Tips for Preventing Running Injuries
For runners who want to reduce their risk for injury, here a few easy tips you can follow.
- Wear the right shoes. The right pair of running shoes can play a huge part in injury prevention. Make sure to select a pair with the contour of your feet in mind – and buy for comfort, not just looks.
- Listen to your body. Many of the most common running injuries are caused by overuse. Don’t push through the pain – if your body is telling you to stop, continuing on will typically only worsen your condition.
- Stretch. Warming up and stretching before a run is a crucial component in preventing injury, as it can loosen up the muscles that are most susceptible to damage.