Running is an amazing accomplishment no matter if it’s 1 mile or 26. Although it can help you lose weight and keep your body fit, running may also result in injuries to the ankles, back, shins, feet and knees. Recognizing the injuries and seeking preventative measures is critical if you want to be a lifelong runner.
Tendonitis in the Achilles
If you’re looking to lose weight, you need to maintain the proper balance between fitness and nutrition. Unfortunately, injuries can often get in the way of certain activities such as running. Achilles tendonitis is a common running injury that may cause stiffness, swelling and pain in the Achilles tendon. It could worsen if you fail to cut back on your movements. You can reduce your chances of suffering this malady by selecting a good running shoe with plenty of cushion on the insoles. Running shoes can lose their ability to absorb shock after a period of time, so you want to replace your running shoes every 250 to 400 miles if you pound the pavement.
Commonly known as “runner’s knee,” Patellofemoral syndrome is a condition that causes pain underneath the kneecap. Symptoms can include achy, dull pain that appears in front or under the kneecap. The pain may be more noticeable when kneeling, going up and down stairs, after long runs or when squatting. If your pain doesn’t go away, you need to seek immediate treatment for your injury. Visit your local orthopedic specialist such as Orthopedic Associates, who specialize in orthopedic surgery, as well as non-surgical orthopedic care.
You can cut your chances of an injury when running with proper warm-ups and stretching movements. Areas to focus on include the lower back, calves, hamstrings and glutes.
Spinal Disc Injury
It’s common for runners to lose fluid when they run. Hydrating the body before, during and after is critical to alleviating damage, especially in the spine. When you’re planning a run, set your sights on drinking enough water to keep your body hydrated properly. Place water bottles throughout your course if you’re running long distances. You can also keep a water belt or hand water bottle at-the-ready. Unfortunately, the constant pounding and jarring can still cause great stress on your spine. You should also listen to your body and seek immediate treatment if the back pain worsens. Ignoring symptoms could cause degenerative disc disease or a herniated disc.
Shin splints are a common problem that can affect runners, dancers and tennis players. If you’re a new runner, you’ve been training indoors or you’re returning to the sport after a long break, you may experience pain in the lower region of the legs. You can lessen your chances of shin splint pain by cutting back a bit. This includes reducing your speed and distance. If your goal is to run a half or full marathon, start with simple 5K races first and then move up in distance. You can also select softer surfaces to run on such as dirt, grass or a cushy treadmill.
If you have a race coming up, it can be very easy to over train for the event. But your muscles and body need adequate time for rest and healing. If you don’t allow enough downtime in your training regimen, you could suffer a stress fracture. Muscles that are worked too hard are unable to absorb the shock of running. This can then cause your bones to crack or break. Signs of a stress fracture include pain, tenderness and swelling. You can lessen your risk of a stress fracture by cutting back on your weekly mileage, wearing the right running shoes, warming up regularly and strengthening the leg muscles with weights.
Running is a wonderful activity for the mind, body and soul. With the constant pounding and jarring, you may also be more prone to injuries. You can stay on target with your speed and distance training by staying alert to the above injuries and taking the necessary precautions to prevent them.