Common Running Injuries: Prevention and Treatment
10 Common Running Injuries continued...
Plantar fasciitis. An inflammation of the plantar fascia. That's the thick band of tissue in the bottom of the foot that extends from the heel to the toes.
People with tight calf muscles and a high arch are more prone to plantar fasciitis. Although it may be linked to an increase in activity, plantar fasciitis may occur without any identifiable reason.
- calf stretches
- icing the bottom of the foot
Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS). This syndrome causes pain on the outside of the knee. The iliotibial band is a ligament that runs along the outside of the thigh, from the top of the hip to the outside of the knee.
ITBS occurs when this ligament thickens and rubs the knee bone, causing inflammation. Long-distance runners are more likely to develop ITBS.
- decreasing the amount of exercise
- heat and stretching prior to exercise
- icing the area after activity
Blisters. These are fluid-filled sacks on the surface of the skin. They are caused by friction between your shoes/socks and skin.
To help prevent blisters:
- start using new shoes gradually
- wear socks with a double layer
- apply petroleum jelly on areas prone to blisters
Temperature-related injuries. These include:
- heat exhaustion
These can be prevented by dressing appropriately, staying hydrated, and using sunscreen.
Tips to Prevent Running Injuries
By taking a few precautions and planning, you can prevent many common running injuries. Here are some tips for preventing injuries.
Listen to your body: Don't ignore pain. A little soreness is OK. But if you notice consistent pain in a muscle or joint that doesn't get better with rest, see your health care provider.
Create a running plan: Before beginning a running routine, talk to a trainer. A trainer can help you create a running plan that is in line with your current fitness abilities and long-term goals.
Warm-up and stretch: Many injuries occur as a result of inadequate stretching. Before and after you run, stretch your muscles thoroughly -- especially your calf, hamstrings, groin, and quadriceps.
Also, warm up for five minutes -- by walking, for example -- before you start stretching. Stretching cold muscles may cause injuries.
Strength train: Add weight training and ab exercises to your routine. This strengthens muscles and develops core strength.
Cross train: Mix up your fitness routine. Don't only run. Try swimming, biking, tennis, or some other activity. This helps prevent overuse injuries that more commonly occur when you do the same type of exercise over and over again.
Dress appropriately: Wear lightweight, breathable clothing that wicks moisture away from your skin. Dress in layers. Also wear a hat to protect against the sun and cold.
Be shoe smart: Wear proper-fitting socks and shoes with good support. If the soles of your running shoes have worn thin or are angled, it's time to get a new pair. If you have foot problems, such as flat feet or high arches, consider using orthotic shoe inserts.