Running is a common athletic activity, whether it is part of another sport or done on its own. Despite how common running is, though, the repetitive motions and impacts involved in the activity mean that there are many chances for injury. Here, our Stittsville physiotherapists explain 5 of the most common injuries sustained while running and how to spot them.
Whether you're running to train for a race or just for pleasure, you are bound to encounter some kind of twinge, ache or pain along the way. While avoiding this kind of discomfort is ideal, it isn't always realistic. The key to preventing injury isn't about avoiding this pain altogether though. Instead. it is about what you do when you encounter pain or discomfort shortly after or during your workouts.
Knowing how to identify potential injuries and working with a sports medicine physiotherapist to determine the appropriate response will help you to avoid any acute injuries which could keep your runners in the closet for a long time. Here are five possible injuries to keep an eye out for while you run.
1. Runner's Knee
Runner's knee is most quite common in runners all across Canada. If you notice pain or tenderness across your knee that starts to fade as you get further into your exercise, you might have the beginnings of runner's knee.
If you notice after running that this pain flares up again, especially while sitting for long periods, this may be a sign that your kneecap's cartilage is wearing down and you should seek physical therapy as soon as possible. This injury will only grow worse without proper attention.
2. Shin Splints
While less common than runner's knee, shin splints are still frequently found in runners. This injury is actually a series of small tears developing in your shin while you run and generally feels like an achy pain that runs all the way down your shins.
This injury can occur at any time, but it is most common shortly after you increase the distance or frequency of your runs suddenly. It's also found in runners with flat feet. If you can jump and walk without pain, but when you start running, you feel a tightness and pain in your shins, visit our physiotherapists to find help correcting the issue.
3. Achilles Tendinitis
Achilles tendonitis, also called tendinopathy, is the inflammation of your Achilles tendon that connects the back of your heel to your calf. This injury is often associated with pain or stiffness in the area around the tendon. This is particularly true in the mornings and during activity.
This injury generally occurs when you place too much stress on the tendon, either by adding too much distance to your runs, having tight calves or other repetitive strain. If you have muted pain in your heel while running but icing or other at-home remedies generally take care of it, you should contact your physiotherapist before it grows worse.
4. Plantar Fasciitis
This injury is the inflammation of a thick band of tissue running across the bottom of your foot named the platar fascia. You will feel a sharp pain in your heels when experiencing this injury, more pronounced in the first few steps you take in your day. You may also notice bruising or a dull ache in your heels as your ligaments are subject to small tears.
You should book an appointment with a physical therapist if you notice this kind of pain in order to avoid it from becoming constant.
5. IT Band Syndrome
This syndrome expresses itself as a pain that shoots down your leg to the outside of your knee. When the iliotibial band, a ligament that runs from the outside of your thigh to your knee, thickens and begins rubbing against your knee, it becomes inflamed and causes pain which can be mistaken for a knee injury.
Often, the pain from this injury will start about a kilometer or two into your run. You might be able to alleviate it by walking it out, but you should make sure you visit a physical therapist as soon as possible to ensure you don't suffer a more severe injury as a result.
Do any of the above kinds of pain and discomfort sound like they describe your experience?
Our team of physiotherapists is specially trained in sports medicine and can help you to recover.