1. Runner’s knee
This super common injury that can strike any athlete, runner, cyclists etc.
What causes it?
- Overuse- Repeated stress to the knee can irritate the kneecap joint. Additionally, overstretched tendons can contribute to this.
- Direct trauma to the knee- This could be caused by a fall or blow to the knee.
- Misalignment- If any bones are even slightly out of their correct position, physical stress won’t be evenly distributed through your body. This usually results in other parts of your body being subjected to higher stress than normal. This often leads to pain and injury to the joints.
- Problems with the feet- Runner’s knee can also occur due to a condition in which the joints associated with the feet move more than the norm or due to fallen arches or flat feet. Any of these impact these conditions can increasingly stress joints and knee tissue.
- Weak thigh muscles or muscle imbalance- If thigh muscles are weak, it causes a disproportional load on isolated sections of the knee cap leading to abnormal wear patterns and pain.
You may notice runner’s knee when you’re doing other activities such as:
- Using the stairs
- Sitting with the knee bent for a long time
2. Stress fractures
This is a tiny crack in one of your bones. With runners, this typically occurs in the shin or feet. Why does this occur? Typically, this will happen when you’re just starting a new activity, so new runners may experience this. As you might expect, rest is the best treatment for this condition.
3. Shin splints
This is pain that occurs in the front or inside of the lower leg right along the shin bone. Shin splints are common after making increases to your workout, such as running greater distances or more days. Usually, this indicates you’re making these changes too quickly. Btw folks with flat feed are more susceptible to developing shin splints.
- Slowly reintroducing activity after a period of healing.
4. Achilles tendinitis
This is essentially inflammation of the Achilles tendon. That’s the huge tendon that attaches the calf to the back of the heel. Achilles tendinitis is characterized by dull or sharp pain anywhere along the back of the tendon, but usually close to the heel. It is usually attributed to repeated stress to the tendon. One big culprits is adding too much distance to your running routine or if your calf muscles are just too tight.
5. Pulled Muscles
This is basically just muscle strain and is caused by overstretching a muscle. Common treatment is simple- RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation).
6. Ankle sprains
Ouch! This is the accidental stretching or tearing of the ligaments around the ankle. It happens when the foot twists or rolls inward. Just like with a muscle pull, it’ll usually get better with RICE.
7. IT band syndrome
This syndrome causes pain on the outside of the knee. The IT band is a ligament that runs along the outside of the thigh, from the top of the hip to the outside of the knee.
IT band syndrome happens when this ligament thickens and rubs the knee bone, causing inflammation.
- Icing the side of the knee
- Stretching the IT band from the hip
- Foam rolling the IT band
- Complete rest
8. Plantar fasciitis
This when the plantar fascia is inflamed. What is this located? It’s a thick bunch of tissue located at the bottom of the foot and it spans from the heel to the toes. You’re more prone to this injury if you have a high arch in you feet. It can happen with increased activity, but, unlike other conditions, it can happen for no apparent reason.
- Calf stretching
These are fluid-filled sacks on the surface of the skin. They are caused by friction between your shoes/socks and skin.
- Start using new shoes gradually. For example, go for shorter runs in new shoes until you break them in.
- Wear double layer socks
- Use petroleum jelly on areas prone to blisters
10. Temperature-related injuries:
- Heat exhaustion
You can prevent these injuries by dressing correctly, staying hydrated, and using sunscreen.
Tips to Prevent Running Injuries
- Listen to your body
- Create a running plan
- Warm-up and stretch- It’s so tempting to skip this. You just want to knock that run out, but this is super important.
- Strength training
- Cross training
- Replace shoes at needed and use inserts as needed.
- Take care of your mind by taking memory pills