10 Common Running Injuries: Prevention and Treatment
- Calf stretches
- Icing the bottom of the foot
8. IT (iliotibial) band syndrome. This syndrome causes pain on the outside of the knee. The IT band is a ligament that runs along the outside of the thigh, from the top of the hip to the outside of the knee.
IT band syndrome happens when this ligament thickens and rubs the knee bone, causing inflammation.
- Cutting back on exercise
- Heat and stretching before exercise
- Icing the area after activity
9. 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
10. Temperature-related injuries. These include:
- Heat exhaustion
You can prevent these 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.
Run wisely: Run on a flat, smooth surface and avoid steep hills until your body gets used to the activity.
Be safe: Run during the day, in well-lit areas, or use a light so that you can be seen. Keep a cell phone and identification on you. If running with headphones, set the volume low enough so that you can hear cars and other noises. Run with a partner when you can.
Weather matters: Monitor the weather conditions before you go for a run. Don't run outside if it is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, below freezing, or the humidity is high.
Stay hydrated: Make sure you drink an extra 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups of water on the days you run. If you are running for more than an hour, drink a sports drink to replenish electrolytes lost in sweat.