Running is a quite common athletic activity, not only as part of other sports, but as an activity all its own. Despite how common it is, however, the repetitive movements and impact on the ground that is involved in running means there are ample opportunities for injury. Here, our Orleans physical therapist team explains 5 of the most common injuries sustained while running and how to identify them.
Whether you are running for pleasure or with the intent of racing, you are bound to encounter some kind of ache, pain and twinge along the way. While avoiding this kind of pain is ideal, it certainly isn't realistic. The key to preventing injury, however, isn't about completely avoiding pain. Instead, it is about what you do when you do encounter pain either during or shortly after a run.
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 commonly found in people who run all across Canada. If you notice tenderness or pain around your kneecap that starts to fade as you get further into your exercise, you may 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 happen at any time, but it is most common after you suddenly increase the distance or frequency of your runs or in runners who have flat feet. If you are able to jump or walk without pain, but when you start running you encounter tightness and pain, visit our physiotherapists for ways to correct this issue.
3. Achilles Tendinitis
This injury, also called tendinopathy, is the inflammation of your Achilles tendon (the large tendon connecting the back of your heel to your calf). Achilles tendonitis will often cause pain or stiffness in the area around your tendon—in particular in the morning 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
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of a thick band of tissue running across the bottom of your foot called the plantar fascia. This injury will usually express itself as a sharp pain in your heels, often most pronounced in the first few steps you take in the day. You may also notice bruising or a dull ache in your heels and the ligaments and tendons in your feet endure 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 syndrome will begin when you are a kilometer or two into your run. You may be able to alleviate this pain by walking it out, but you should make sure your visit our physiotherapists as soon as possible to make sure you don't inadvertently suffer a more severe injury.
Are you experiencing any of the above kinds of pain or discomfort while running?
Our team of physiotherapists is specially trained in sports medicine and can help you to recover.