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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 10, 2019

              7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

              7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

              Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

              Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

              This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

              One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

              Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

              Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

              1. Gratitude

              Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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              The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

              Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

              So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

              Gratitude-Quotes

                2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

                This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

                For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

                What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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                Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

                3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

                This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

                Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

                An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

                Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

                write down goals

                  4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                  According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                  There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                  5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                  Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                  Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                  6. Rise Earlier

                  The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                  For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                  So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                  Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                  7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                  Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                  Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                  It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                  Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                  More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                  Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                  [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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