Why Does It Hurt When I Run?

Still hurting from your last run? Here are the 5 most common running injuries and how to treat them.

Runner leg and muscle pain during running training outdoors in summer nature. Health and fitness concept

Running is one of the easiest sport to pick up, but it is also one of the easiest sport to develop an injury. Injuries often occur due to overexertion and incorrect running technique. When you run, you can take up to 200 strides per minute. Each stride sends a forceful energy through your feet, ankles, shins, calves and knees, which can cause tremendous strain on the muscles and bone.

  1. Runner’s Knee

The cartilage under your kneecap can wear down after constant intense running over a prolonged period of time. This causes pain and discomfort around the knees, especially when going up and down stairs, squatting and sitting with the knees bent for a long time.

Treatment:
– Tape the knee
– Use a knee brace
– Take inflammatory medication
– Rest your body and reduce the intensity of your runs

 

  1. Stress Fractures

Overexertion and constant strain can result in a small crack in the bone that may worsen if left untreated. This is because the bone needs sufficient time to recover and repair itself after an intensive activity.

Stress fractures usually occur when runners increase the intensity, frequency, or duration of their runs too soon without enough rest in between.

Treatment:
– Stop running completely for at least 8 to 16 weeks, depending on the severity of the fracture.
– Consult a doctor.
– Switch to swimming or pool running to build strength.

 

  1. Achilles tendinitis

A sudden increase in training intensity can lead to an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the thick band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the back of the heel. Runners with tight or weak calves are especially prone to Achilles tendinitis and should thus work on loosening and building strength in their calves.

Treatment:
– Rest, ice, and stretch the calf muscles can relieve the pain temporarily.
– Shoe aids such as heel lifts and highly structured shoes can help lessen the strain on the Achilles tendon.
– Regular exercise to strengthen and stretch the lower legs.

 

  1. Muscle Damage

Muscle damage includes muscle strains, pulls, and tears. This is often caused by insufficient f and improper warm up of the muscles, making it prone to injury. The most commonly pulled muscles during running are the hamstrings, quadriceps, calf, and groin.

Treatment:
– Rest the muscle
– Ice the affected area
– Compression
– Elevation

 

  1. Shin Splints

Occurs when the shin bone and/or the connective tissues along the shin is damaged and causes sharp or aching pain when running.The constant impact of the feet on the ground may cause small tears in the muscles around the shin bone.

Shin splints most commonly affect runners with high arches or flat feet, and new or returning runners who overexert themselves.

Treatment:
– Reduce the intensity of your runs.
– Rest
– Ice your shins
– Wearing an ankle brace can speed recovery and help stabilize the ankle to reduce the strain on the shin muscles.

 

While there are a variety of treatment available for each injury, the key is to give your body sufficient rest and to know your limits to prevent overexertion.

 
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References:

Fraioli, M. (2014) The 5 Most Troublesome Running Injuries. Retrieved from http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/injury-prevention/the-top-5-most-troublesome-running-injuries_11316

Aschwanden, C. (2011) The Big 7 Body Breakdowns. Retrieved from http://www.runnersworld.com/health/big-7-body-breakdowns?page=single

Grabianowski, E. Top 10 Causes of Running Pain. Retrieved from http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor-activities/running/health/10-causes-of-running-pain.htm

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