Ask anyone who has been running for some time, and they’ll tell you that any running injury can put a damper on things. Nothing is worse than getting close to hitting a PR, only to suffer a severe setback because of a preventable injury. Around half of runners annually face a delay in their training because they’ve hurt themselves.
There are several common running injuries that physiotherapists and doctors deal with regularly. Today we’re going to focus on three of the most common leg injuries from running. We will teach you the symptoms of these conditions and how to prevent them from happening to you.
1. Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is a condition that causes inflammation in the tissues that connect the heel bones to the toes. It can take months or even years to heal the damaged fascia, so catching it early is critical.
There are several measures you can take to prevent this condition in the first place. Ensure you’re at a healthy weight. Excess weight will put extra pressure on the bottoms of your feet. Replace your shoes often and make sure the ones you choose are supportive. Refrain from going barefoot on harder surfaces.
If you notice a lot of heel pain during your runs or even when you first wake in the morning, you may want to bring it up with your doctor. Your medical team will recommend you visit a physiotherapist for aggressive rehabilitation.
2. Runner’s Knee
Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee, is a condition that irritates the cartilage under your knee cap. You’ll know you have this condition if you feel a dull, aching pain behind your kneecap. You may also experience pain while walking, squatting, or kneeling.
The good news is that physiotherapy can help you heal from this condition. But unless you take strides in prevention, runner’s knee may come back. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons suggests several steps to prevent this condition.
Wear activity-appropriate footwear. Be sure you’re giving yourself enough time to warm-up before your runs. Incorporate a thorough stretching routine, focusing on the hamstrings and quadriceps.
A yearly physical can help to determine the health of your knees. If you’re a serious runner, you’ll want to consider adding one to your annual check-up.
3. Achilles Tendonitis
The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to the back of the heel bone. If it comes under too much stress, it’ll tighten and cause inflammation and irritation. As time goes on, scar tissue can layer on top, increasing the risk of tearing or rupturing.
If you leave this condition untreated, it can become Achilles tendinosis. This is a chronic degenerative disorder that is harder to repair.
Prevention is vital to protect yourself from both of these potentially dangerous conditions. You’ll need to focus on strengthening your calf muscles. The stronger your muscles are, the less loading force your Achilles tendons will endure.
You can also try to improve your running form. Overstriding can cause a host of issues, including Achilles tendinitis, so try to shorten your stride to stop heel-striking.
Get Ahead of Common Running Injuries
Knowing ways to prevent the most common running injuries is key. It’s important to note that you don’t have to break or fracture a bone to experience a severe setback in your training. Even seemingly small traumas can put you out for an entire season.
If you think you’ve suffered a running-related injury, be sure to contact us. We can help determine what’s happened and the best course of action for treating it.