Running is a kind of exercise which comes with a package of injuries if not done properly or done excessively without the proper guidance and care. Although I am not in any intention to discourage or scare the running enthusiasts or runners against it. It’s a great exercise to enhance metabolism of body and a great tool to stay healthy and fit as well.
Being a practicing Physio many runners and athletes come with injuries and pains, and at times they have ignored them till a significant amount of damage is rendered to the musculoskeletal tissues. If anyone have experienced or is going through certain issues while running I would strongly recommend to contact a Sports Physio or a Sports Medicine Specialist rather than ignoring it.
So, here is an overview of a few common running injuries which can occur to any athlete in any sporting phase.
1. Runner’s Knee
Medically known as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. It is generally seen in runners as the name suggests. Tender pain is experienced around or behind the kneecap. Running on hard surfaces, downhill running, muscular weakness and regular high mileage are the culprits behind this pain. Athlete experiencing this pain should continue on flat or uphill surfaces in order to avoid this condition. Soft surface running, Kinsio-taping of the knee and lowering the mileage are recommended.
2. Jumper’s Knee
Medically referred as Patellar Tendinitis commonly seen in distance runners. It happens when the Patellar tendon which is responsible for the connection of Patella (kneecap) to the shin bone gets injured (maybe tiny tears) due to overuse. Over-training, increased Pronation of the foot (foot rolling inwards towards the arch) and frequent uphill running can result in the condition. Strengthening program for thighs(Quads & Hams) will be fruitful in avoiding it. Local Ice application always helps on the onset of pain.
3. Ilio-Tibial(IT) Band syndrome
Distance runners must be knowing this condition as the major enemy of going the distance. the pain is present on outside of knee caused by the inflammation the IT Band which runs from the pelvic bone through whole of the outer thigh. The common reasons remain are once again downhill running, increased mileage and most ignored hip muscular weakness. Stretching the particular tendon will give relief. Foam rolling is also helpful.
4. Shin Splints
Almost every runner have experienced this pain either during or after running. It can be dull aching, moderate paining or a stabbing pain experienced in shin bone. It happens when the muscles and tendons covering shin bone gets inflamed. Icing generally helps in reducing both the pain & swelling. It is however advised to avoid running uphill as it will increase the stress on the muscle (tibialis – anterior & posterior) involved. Running on softer surfaces and wearing the right fit sneakers with ample cushioning would further help.
5. Achilles Tendinitis
Swelling of the Achilles tendon(connect heel to calf muscles) can be caused by tight calf muscles, sudden increase in mileage of running, wearing improper or worn off footwear or having a natural flatfoot. Stretching the calf muscles post workout and following a strengthening protocol for these muscles will definitely reduce the recurrence of the inflammation. Icing is equally important for the recovery phase. A supporting pair of footwear will reduce the risk of developing it in the future as well.
6. Plantar Fascitis
Inflammation, injury or any sort of irritation in the sole of foot is termed as Plantar Fascitis. Running on asphalt or any hard surfaces or not wearing a proper strapped footwear are generally seen to be causing this pain. Stiffness and pain are experienced after prolonged standing, running, upon weight bearing after a period of rest or sleep. Wearing shoes with extra cushion and rolling a tennis ball under the sole are highly recommended. Night splints can also be used. Icing and Physiotherapy treatments prove to be a great reliever as well.
Note: Kindly consult a Physio regarding any kind of pain experienced during or after workout.
So, let’s get over with pains and hit the ground running.
Any queries and suggestions are very much welcome!!