Foot injuries, muscle pulls, or tissue damages – these are some of the most common scenarios a runner may have to face, each day. But does this stop them from following their passions? Not really! As a matter of fact, you may be shocked to know that each year, about 65 to 85 percentage of runners get laid down for some days or even months, due to these common running injuries. Training errors or inappropriate footwear are the most known reasons for any runner to succumb to one of the most common running injuries. Inadequate core strength can also be one reason for these injuries.
We know that come what may, runners ain’t going to stop, and why should they? Can an injury just give them that break? Can an injury hamper their zeal? When they say, prevention is better than cure, trust us, they do mean it, and have said it out of pure experience. So, today, we bring to you some of the most common running injuries
- A runner’s knee
In layman terms, this injury is related to your knee, when due to extra usage, the knee cap alignment moves away from the regular. If not treated at the right time, the knee cap cartilage can wear off as well. When this happens, you will feel immense pain when you do normal things like climbing up or down the stairs, sitting with knee bent for a very long period of time, Squatting, bending on your knees etc. This is supposed to be one of the most common running injuries that majority of the runner’s face. Patellofmoral Pain Syndrome is the scientific name to this, where you tend to have slight or lot of pain in and around your knee cap.
Why does this happen: When you put repeated pressure on the knee cap, there are high chances of ending up with this common running injury. A lot of downhill running, or muscle imbalance can also be causes of this injury.
- Shin Splits
As a runner, you may not be unaware of this common running injury. From beginners to expert runners, every runner has experienced that ache or stabbing sensation in and around the leg shins. No denying in the fact that is one of the most common running injury. While, there is no specific reason for this to happen, whenever this is experienced, just relax and try to place ice on the effected area.
Why does this happen: Shin splits occur when your tendons and muscles that cover your shinbone flame or swell up. This is mainly because of sudden extra pressure on the back of your legs which your body is not used to.
- Stress Fracture
As one can understand from the name, this is a type of fracture that occurs due to a lot of stress on one single body part. It usually is a crack in the bone, which causes sudden pain and a lot of discomfort in that part of the body. If you do not take care of this as soon as the initial pain arises, it may get worse and may lead to a serious injury. A minor stress fracture is a common running injury, if taken care with complete rest for few days.
Why does this happen: Laying a lot of stress and pressure on one single body part is the main reason for this injury. When you push yourself too much before your body can get accustomed to the new activity, your body and bones may not be ready for it, leading to this stress fracture.
- Achilles Tendinitis
Wondering what this means? Well, Achilles is a band of fibrous tissue that actually connects the heel bone to the calf muscle. It is also called the Calcaneal Tendon, and when you start to feel the pain or have some discomfort in this area, it is called the Achilles Tendinitis. Usually, they swell up and this hurts when you walk or try to sit down.
Why does this happen: Not having proper footwear or having an increased rapid increase in your running mileage are the main reasons that lead to this common running injury. Apart from that, if you have a flat foot naturally, you can be quite prone to this injury.
- Plantar Fasciitis
This is the tissue at the bottom of your feet. When this is being over used or is down the lane of excessive wear and tear, you tend to lead yourself to this common running injury. It is always recommended that at the first stab of pain, consult a doctor, so that they will identify the right reason behind the pain and will suggest you corrective measures. This part of your body is extremely important, hence you cannot take any kind of risks. Due to this, you will face a lot of stiffness in your walking and a stabbing pain whenever you try to walk!
Why does this happen: If you think wearing flip flops to run, sometimes, is okay! Then you might be just wrong – COMPLETELY! Wrong or uncomfortable footwear is the main reason behind this common running injury.
- Ankle Sprain
As children, didn’t we face a lot of these types of common running injuries? Well, that time we were not experts in running, yet, this was one of the most common injury that we faced. That is because, our ankle is quite sensitive and any extra pressure on it can lead to a sprain. For runners, ligament tear or accidental extra stretching of ankle tissues can also lead to a sprain, which must be diagnosed and treated immediately.
Why does this happen: We do not have a lot of control on external factors while running, right? Sometimes, due to unforeseen things and obstacles, when your feet roll inwards or outwards, it leads to an ankle sprain. The severity depends on the pressure felt by the ankle to protect the other related body parts
- IT Band Syndrome
Well, a lot of you may confuse this with a runner’s knee, but this is completely different. When you face a lot of pain outside the knee, then it is this IT band Syndrome. Wondering why it is termed this way? Well, the IT band is actually a ligament which runs from the outside of the thigh and goes up till the top of the hip to the outside of the knee.
Why does this happen: This happens when the IT band ligament thickens that its usual size which results in the knee bone rubbing against this band, leading to overall inflammation and pain on the outside of the knee.
Precautions to be taken to avoid these most common injuries
There are some common running injuries that can totally avoided, while some of them just have to be taken proper care off. While most runners learn to deal with it, here are the most common preventive measures for the most common running injuries –
- Proper warm up and cooling down phase is required: This had to top our chart when we take about preventive actions to avoid the common running injuries. It is vital for you to warm up properly before an intense run, and then it is just not that. You also shall allow your body proper cooling after the run
- Identify your form: Yes! Not every runner can do everything. So, in the initial stages, it is important for you to try all the running forms. Then finally take note of the running form that suits your body type and running regime. Not following the proper form is one major reason behind the common running injuries
- Have a look at your footwear: Haven’t we mentioned this above as well? If you have a look at the reasons for lot of common running injuries, you will notice that footwear is a reason for lot of them. So, if you tend to fall prey to lot of running injuries frequently, it is time to check up on your sneakers
- Do not push your body beyond limits: Every runner’s body is different. If your friend can run 10 miles at one stretch, it does not mean you too can. Every runner’s body is unique and you must identify your body limits and stick to it. Do not push beyond!
The 10 percent Rule is your savior!
You do 1 mile today and then increase it drastically to 5 miles the next day? Big mistake! The 10% rule is what you must follow to avoid all kinds of common running injuries. This rule says that you must not increase your running mileage more than 10% a week! This will help your body get accustomed to the gradual increase, but it will not push your body at once to something new. Follow this rule in your daily life, and increase the running speed and mileage eventually. On the down days, there is not harm in sticking to yesterday’s or previous week’s mileage as well!