Running injuries are something that just about every runner has experienced or will experience during their running career. It might be a minor injury but it is still an injury and according to recent studies 8/10 runners will experience some sort of injury. Not all running injuries are severe enough to stop you from training. In fact most of the common running injuries only slow you down. It also depends on the person as to whether an injury will stop you from training.
The worst thing to do is put off a minor injury until it becomes a major injury. You might be able to power through the minor running injury but if you don’t treat he injury it could cause a major injury and then you are going to have to stop your training. So if you incur a minor injury take the time to treat it properly to ensure that it is not going to turn into something worse.
What is the difference between a major running injury and a minor running injury? Usually a minor injury is a slight sprain or strain, or soreness due to over training. It is usually something that will cause you to slow do or to ease up on your training, but not keep you from running. A major injury is something like a tear or major strain. This will cause you to have to stop running or training. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need medical attention or surgery but it usually requires you to take time to recovery from it.
The best thing to do for an injury is to prevent it. Some of the most common running injuries are very preventable. This will keep you running and keep you in your training program.
Below is a list of some of the most common running injuries and ways to treat them and/or prevent them.
Iliotibial band syndrome
The IT band starts at your hip and runs on the outside of your leg to the top of your shin, going to the lateral side of your knee.
What is IT band syndrome? It is when the IT band get inflamed and starts to rub on the underlying tissue and on the outside of your knee. It may feel like knee pain to some so make sure you know what you have before you try any treatment. Some easy ways to prevent this are IT band stretches. However what I prefer is the foam roller. Since I have started foam rolling I have not had any IT band issues.
The hamstring is actually a group of muscles that are on the posterior side of you thigh. They are the powerful
muscles that help to work your knee joint as you run. They also act as part of the shock absorbers when your feet strike the ground. A pulled hamstring is a common running injury as well an general sports injury. It can occur many ways but usually happens during sudden accelerations, like sprinting, and sudden deceleration, like stopping after sprinting. You might see some bruising and/or swelling and it will be painful to walk with this injury. Again foam rolling is a good treatment but should only be done if the injury isn’t very severe. You are more than likely going to have to stop your running for a while with this injury.
Plantar fasciits is the inflammation of the muscles and tendons on the bottom of the foot. What causes plantar fasciitis is still up in the air but there are some things that can contribute to it: rapid weight gain, repetitive motions with the feet, ill fitting shoes, and generalized aging. Way to prevent this are to get proper fitting shoes and/or ditch your shoes. Barefoot runners have said that they used to suffer from plantar fasciitis until they started running barefoot. Barefoot running is another topic and should be studied before you try it. A good treatment for this injury is to take a ball, foam roller or soda can and roll your foot over it. Do this exercise 3 times a day and especially after you run and it should help relieve your plantar fasciitis.
Shin splints are one of the most common running injuries. The pain from shin splints is the inflammation of the periostium, or the sheath surrounding the tibia. This is from the muscles rubbing this sheath abnormally. Shin splints can be caused by a number of things: overpronation, aggressive starts and stops, running up or down hill, overly pushing off with your trail foot. etc. The list can go on as there are many reasons why someone gets shin splints. Usually they will go away with a little rest, ice, compression and elevation. But in sever cases they can cause you to stop training altogether. To treat these you should first let them heal properly. If you have old running shoes then a new pair may help. Stretches for the front of the shin will help as well as foam rolling the shins. Strengthening the shin muscles it one of the better ways to prevent shin splints.
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