Most Common Running Injuries and How to Treat Them

By August 11, 2021Blog
Most Common Running Injuries and How to Treat Them

Running is one of the best exercises, but constant movement can take a toll on the body and leave you feeling very sore. Some people even suffer full-blown injuries that hinder similar workouts for months, despite having done all the necessary preparations before the exercise. The injuries are usually a result of the pressure being too much on the body.

According to research published on MJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, running for 10 minutes equals taking 1700 steps, with each one having a reaction force that is twice the body’s weight.  Absorbing such force is hectic for the body regardless of whether the running is for leisure or not. That is why visiting the best massage therapy clinic in Ajax and Pickering is a good idea.

Running Injuries You Should Know About

  1. Hip bursitis

The upper thigh or hip area may also ache, especially when you apply pressure on it directly. It may start as dull pain when you run and increase when you sleep. Stretching usually helps alleviate some of the pain, but the best possible solution is to see a professional for a massage.

Hip bursitis happens when friction causes inflammation on the hip trochanter, which is a fluid sac that prevents friction between bones and soft tissues. The swelling can be eased with a sartorius stretch as you wait to meet a professional.

  1. Achilles tendinitis 

At least 20% of runners experience Achilles tendinitis, which is a dull or dragging pain that is felt near the heels. In severe cases, it can interfere with the flexibility of the ankles and make running very painful.

Failing to stretch properly before the run, training extensively, and increasing speed too quickly can stress the tendons and cause injury. The tightening of the tendons can make them irritated or make them swell, resulting in pain. If the pain increases or lingers even when you are not running, call a physiotherapist immediately.

  1. Runner’s knee

Also known as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, this is the most popular kneecap pain that runners experience. The pain is usually dull when running on the levelled ground but will increase with descent or ascent of hills or stairs.

Weakened posterior hip muscles from abnormal mechanics when moving up and down is the main reason for the pain. It may begin as a twinge on the knee at the onset of a run, then increase when you finally sit. Do not ignore increasing intensity as it may get worse over time. 

  1. Hamstring pain

The back of the thighs mostly consists of hamstring muscles that help you move forward when you run. As such, the first sign that you have this type of injury is pain at the site as you try to accelerate. Hamstring injuries have a higher chance of recurring if they are not managed. Physiotherapy can prevent the injury from recurring, but you must also be careful not to rush into training again.

  1. Piriformis syndrome

When weak glutes are put through repetitive movement, the piriformis muscle gets tired. These muscles are responsible for outward movement, and when not in their best condition, the sciatic nerve can become compressed, causing pain, tingling, or cramping. The pain usually starts at the buttocks and may extend to the back of the leg and foot.

  1. Plantar fasciitis

Common causes of plantar fasciitis are sudden acceleration when running, overpronation or poor foot posture, running uphill for longer, and tight calves. Wearing the wrong shoes can also increase the chances of this type of injury by increasing pressure and causing the plantar fascia to tear or get inflamed.

You may feel a sharp pain on your heels or a dull ache on the arch of the foot. Getting professional help should be a priority if the pain persists to when you wake up in the morning.

  1. Shin splints

The pain can be nagging on the shin bone because of constant stress on the tibia. It manifests after running as a result of tearing of the muscles from overstriding or faster mileage coverage.

  1. Iliotibial band syndrome

Also known as IT Band Syndrome, this injury happens on the knee and may spread to the thigh and hip. It is usually an outward burning or aching pain and may sometimes be confused for a knee injury, but it happens a few minutes into a run.

An imbalance in the pelvis causes pain as a result of wearing dated shoes. Weak glutes that cause the legs to turn inwards during movement can also result in irritation of the iliotibial band that connects the area outside the hip with the knee joint. The pain may subside for some people when they stop running and start walking.

  1. Stress fracture

The pain can be felt as aching or burning on a specific area of the body along the bone in that place. It worsens as you continue to run or if you press that section. It can appear on the shin, hips, and feet and is caused by overloading the bones.

  1. Shoulder pain

Your shoulders may cramp or ache because of excess tension on the upper body, resulting in poor posture as you run. The pressure eventually takes a toll on the shoulders or lower back, but a physiotherapist can help you get better.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Some preventive tips to try include:

  • Combining fitness routines such as weight lifting and running
  • Running in well-lit areas or running during the day
  • Dressing appropriately by wearing comfortable and breathable clothing
  • Running on smooth and levelled surfaces instead of hilly areas
  • Wearing supportive shoes
  • Keeping track of weather changes and avoiding running when the temperature or humidity is too high
  • Warming up and creating a plan before the run
  • Paying attention to how your body reacts and stopping when you feel pain

The tips below can also help with specific injuries.

Runner’s knee: Re-aligning the kneecap and being cautious when moving up and down the stairs or squatting can reduce the pain. Straightening the legs when sitting to avoid bending the knee for long can also help.

Stress fracture: Avoiding too much straining before running or starting any new activity is a preventive measure. Getting enough rest to allow the cracked bone to heal is also essential.

Shin splint: Resting is one of the best remedies for a shin splint, but you can also perform stretching exercises, especially if recommended by a physiotherapist. Avoid strenuous activities while still healing and resume running gradually.

Achilles tendinitis: To relieve the pain, place ice on the affected area. To prevent further damage, do calf stretches before going for a run, and stop to rest when you feel pain. Try to reduce the mileage you cover too.

Hamstring: Four main mechanisms can be used to prevent hamstrings or muscle pulls from recurring. Get enough rest, use ice on the painful area, use compression techniques (from a physiotherapist), and elevate the leg as much as possible.

Plantar fasciitis: Although sometimes it happens without reason, plantar fasciitis can be prevented by investing in good running shoes. Resting, doing calf stretches, and placing ice on the sore areas can also help.

Iliotibial band syndrome: Reducing the running intensity and distance and doing stretches before exercising are some of the measures that prevent the injury.

Find Physiotherapy Clinic Near You to Help You with Running Injuries

Physiotherapy is one of the most effective methods of dealing with various types of running injuries, and we are the best service providers to help you out. We prefer a preventive approach to treatment and will do everything we can to help you avoid those injuries and the pain they bring. If you are already in pain, we will help you recover. Book an appointment or consult our experts and begin your healing journey.