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Top 5 Running Injuries Every Runner Should Know About

Top 5 Running Injuries Every Runner Should Know About

Though a staple of a healthy lifestyle, exercise is one of those things that if done incorrectly, you can really harm yourself. Running is a go-to for most people looking to infuse their fitness routine with more cardio. It should be noted, however, that runners can be even more prone to injuries, especially when they’re not mindful and careful. That’s why it’s important to be aware of what can happen when you run.

This article will talk about five common warning signs for injuries in a runner as well as injuries every runner should know about. That way, you can know what preventive measures to take and how to manage injuries if they ever occur. This also applies to when you use a treadmill for running.

1. Runner’s Knee

knee hurt

    Runner’s knee is a term to describe pain around and behind the kneecap. When you do a lot of knee-bending, such as when you run, bike, walk, and jump, you are going to feel some aches on your knees.[1] You can also get it from a direct hit on your knees, high-stress exercises, and misalignment of your bones. The condition is scientifically called Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), and it can affect anyone.

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    Symptoms

    The main symptom is pain around and behind the kneecap, and you may feel it at rest or when in action. It can be worse when you walk downstairs or downhill since there is more weight felt on your knees. If it is bad, you may notice swelling in your knee and a popping or grinding sensation in your joint.

    Prevention

    • Rest your knees and avoid putting more stress on them. You may need to reduce or stop your lunges, squats, running, and other exercises for a while.
    • When running, be mindful of your form and your landing. Pounding on the ground puts extra pressure on your kneecap.
    • Try running on softer surfaces and avoid running downhill. This can prevent further pain on your knees.
    • Try using a knee brace.

    2. Plantar Fasciitis

      Your plantar fascia is the ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis is when this ligament becomes inflamed. It can be caused by various things, like prolonged standing, walking, running, or a sharp blow on the ligament. As a runner, you have high risks for this kind of inflammation because of the stress on your feet as you run.

      Symptoms

      Pain at the bottom of your foot when standing, walking, running, jumping, etc.

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      Prevention

      • Avoid prolonged standing, especially on hard surfaces.
      • Wear comfortable shoes when walking, running, hiking, etc. Pick a pair that suits the arch of your feet.
      • Stretch your toes, calf, and ankles often, especially before and after activities like running.

      3. Achilles Tendinitis

        Achilles tendinitis is the inflammation of the Achilles tendon. It is the tissue connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone. Many factors increase the risk of getting Achilles tendinitis. Among runners, the most common factors are a sudden increase in mileage and improper footwear. It’s also common among flat-footed people and those with tight calf muscles.

        Symptoms

        An ache on the Achilles’ tendon. You may also feel stiffness and tenderness, which gets better with a mild activity.

        Prevention

        4. IT Band Syndrome

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          Iliotibial Band Syndrome, is another common injury among runners. It is when the iliotibial band, the ligament from the outside part of the thigh down to the shin, is inflamed. Since the IT band helps in stabilizing and moving the joint, running and other physically demanding activities become painful or difficult.

          Symptoms

          The primary symptom is knee pain because of the inflammation of the IT band on the side of the knee. It may also present tenderness and swelling on the outside of the knee. The IT band is different from runner’s knee because the pain is outside of the knee.

          Prevention

          • Don’t suddenly increase your mileage. You should also decrease how much you run if you begin to feel pain.
          • Do a warm up before you run, such as walking half a mile or so.
          • Make sure you are wearing proper running shoes.
          • Avoid running on concrete or hard surfaces.

          5. Shin Splints

            Shin splints are a pain on the shin, which is the front of the lower legs. It’s common among runners, as well as other athletes. For athletes, it usually happens when there is a sudden increase in mileage.

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            Symptoms

            Pain on the shin is the primary symptom, but it can also manifest and create swelling.

            Prevention

            • Do not suddenly increase your mileage. Give your body some time to adjust by running more and more gradually.
            • Wear shoes made for running.
            • Warm up before running.

            Treating and Managing Running Injuries

              The first step to managing running injuries or aches is to rest. Avoid doing activities that could aggravate the problem. You can also apply ice or a cold compress on the affected areas to reduce swelling and relieve pain. You can also take over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications to help with the pain and swelling.

              If after these self-care interventions you still feel pain, you may need to see a doctor. They can evaluate you further and provide you with the response and solution that you need. Severe cases may require surgery or physical therapy, so you might want to take the necessary measures to avoid these.

              Conclusion

              These conditions may affect different parts of the body, but you will notice that most preventive measures are the same for them. All runners are prone to injuries, and while it may be difficult to avoid them, it’s not impossible. Managing them is also similar for all.

              For questions, concerns, and comments, you may use the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you, and we’ll do our best to respond as soon as possible.

              Reference

              More by this author

              Emily Carter

              Power Running Instructor

              runner get hurt Top 5 Running Injuries Every Runner Should Know About

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              Last Updated on September 20, 2018

              How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

              How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

              Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

              If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

              1. Breathe

              The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

              • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
              • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
              • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

              Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

              2. Loosen up

              After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

              Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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              3. Chew slowly

              Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

              Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

              Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

              4. Let go

              Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

              The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

              It’s not. Promise.

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              Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

              Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

              21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

              5. Enjoy the journey

              Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

              Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

              6. Look at the big picture

              The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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              Will this matter to me…

              • Next week?
              • Next month?
              • Next year?
              • In 10 years?

              Hint: No, it won’t.

              I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

              Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

              7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

              You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

              Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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              8. Practice patience every day

              Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

              • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
              • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
              • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

              Final thoughts

              Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

              Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

              Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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