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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 March 13, 2019

              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

              Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

              You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

              Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

              1. Work on the small tasks.

              When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

              Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

              2. Take a break from your work desk.

              Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

              Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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              3. Upgrade yourself

              Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

              The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

              4. Talk to a friend.

              Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

              Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

              5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

              If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

              Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

              Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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              6. Paint a vision to work towards.

              If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

              Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

              Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

              7. Read a book (or blog).

              The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

              Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

              Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

              8. Have a quick nap.

              If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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              9. Remember why you are doing this.

              Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

              What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

              10. Find some competition.

              Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

              Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

              11. Go exercise.

              Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

              Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

              As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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              Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

              12. Take a good break.

              Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

              Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

              Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

              Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

              More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

              Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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