As we kick off a new decade, you might be thinking of starting a new workout plan. Maybe you’re going to start running. That’s great but make sure you know the most common kinds of running injuries and what can cause them so you can avoid them and stay strong in 2020!
Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)
Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue of the bottom of the foot (the plantar fascia). This inflammation can be caused by extra stress and extra stress can even lead to excessive stretching or tearing.
While this injury can be caused by a number of factors, running can contribute especially if you’re ramping up your running efforts in a short period of time. You’ll be even more prone to this type of injury if you over-pronate your gait, or roll your feet excessively inward as you walk (or run). Tight calf muscles can also contribute so if you’re heading out on a run, make sure you stretch!
- Roll a bottle of frozen water under your foot
- Strengthening exercises (standing on one foot is a great way to build strength and balance!)
Achilles Tendon Injury
Your achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body, so when it’s injured, you’ll know it. It stretches from the bones of your heel to your calf muscles. You can find it by looking for that springy band of tissue along the back of your ankle.
When this tendon is painful is can mean a number of things.
- You could have tendonitis: an inflammation of the tissue
- It could be ruptured
- You could have Tenosynovitis: Inflammation of the vascular sheath that covers the Achilles tendon
This is an extremely common injury for runners especially if you over-pronate or if your feet are weak or tired.
Treat an Achilles tendon injury with the 3S’s—Strengthening, Stretching, and Supporting. Add Ice and rest and you’ve got the simplest form of treating an injured Achilles.
Shin splints are common in runner’s and other athletes. With shin splints, you’ll experience an aching along the front of the shin at the start of an activity or after. You might also have pain along the inside the lower leg. This injury usually occurs due to overuse so if you’re experiencing it the best thing to do is simply take a break.
You might experience shin splints if you insufficient shock absorption in your shoes, worn out shoes, muscle imbalances, do too much working out too soon, or flat or pronated feet.
Runner’s Knee/Knee Pain
Runner’s knee is the phrase used to describe sever conditions that cause pain around the knee cap. Running is the number one cause of this type of pain but it can also be caused by any activity that stresses the knee joint. The most common symptoms of runner’s knee are a dull ache or pain around or behind the kneecap.
You might experience this pain when:
- going up or down stairs
- sitting for a long time with the knee bent
You can treat runner’s knee with rest, ice, compression and elevation.
Preventing Running Injuries (Or, why runner’s get hurt)
So, why are so many injuries caused by running and how can you prevent them?
A lot of people are running wrong. Yes, you can run wrong and if you do your risk of injury increases. There are three keys to good running: posture, lean, and stride. If you’re not paying attention to these factors, you’re risking one or more of the injuries above. If you’re thinking of taking up running in 2020, make sure you know the right way to do it.
Too Much, Too Soon
If you’re just getting into running, it’s a good idea to start small. Many of the injuries mentioned above are caused by weak muscles so you need to take time to strengthen those muscles before jumping into an intense running routine. Take time to stretch and strengthen and slowly add more distance to your running regimen as your body adjusts.
Wrong Shoes/Not enough support
So many injuries can be avoided by simply having the right support. This can mean choosing the right shoes for your activity or making sure you add the right amount of support to shoes you already have.
A good running shoe should:
- have a wide base for support
- have a contoured midsole that supports the arch while providing good shock absorption
- provide medial arch support
- provide a metatarsal pad
While many shoes don’t offer all of these things, adding an Orange Insole to your running can help keep your feet in the right place while you work on perfecting your running form. Find the right insole for you!