Who doesn’t love to run? It is one of the greatest exercises known to man. It is you against nature, against man, against animal. It is incredible when you want to clear your mind or unleash some frustration and anger. There is no other greater thrill than running.
Is there anyone who disagrees?
OK, fine. It isn’t the best when you have suffered an injury from running, which can leave you feeling uncomfortable for days, weeks, or even months at a time. This is why you need to balance your running hobby with some preventative measures, including regularly scheduled sessions with a chiropractor.
Here are the seven most common running injuries:
1. Runner’s Knee
Runner’s knee, otherwise technically known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), will happen to half of the people who run on a regular basis. This is when irritation begins to occur in the cartilage of your kneecap. You can get this for long durations of running, extended periods of sitting, or running downhill (or even down the stairs).
2. Achilles Tendonitis
More irritating than painful, your Achilles tendon connects to major calf muscles to the back of your heel. When the tendon tightens, it becomes irritated. Surprisingly, it is not as painful as you would expect, but can still impact your running endeavours.
3. Stress Fracture
The experts contend that a stress fracture is one of the most serious of all running injuries, though studies have found that it only impacts about a tenth of all runners. Ultimately, stress fractures happen when there is amplifying stress on certain parts of your body, particularly your heels, feet, and shin.
4. Plantar Fasciitis
Wait, how do you even pronounce it? Well, that’s not important right now. What’s crucial is finding out if this is something that affects you. Does it?
You don’t need to be a runner to be diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, but it is rather common in runners. You can get this if there are small tears or inflammation in ligaments or tendons that run from your heel to your toes. At first, it’ll feel like a bruise, but it can metastasize into something a lot more painful.
Pulled a hamstring? You sound like a professional athlete!
Hamstrings are important because they are muscles that travel down the back of our thighs and bend our knees, allowing us to extend our legs. When they become weak or too tight, our hamstrings begin to ache. Like plantar fasciitis, it is actually quite common in runners.
Technically referred to as medial tibial stress syndrome, you can feel aches when small tears happen in the muscles near your shin bones. This is why it is more widely known as shinsplits than saying, “Hey, man! I suffered the other day from medial tibial stress syndrome, so can we not go too far?”
7. IT Band Syndrome – NOT a Knee Injury
No, you are not suffering from a knee injury. It’s more like iliotibial band syndrome, or IT band. Anytime you run your knee flexes and extends, causing the IT band to rub on the femur’s side. The more you run, the more irritation will take place. Again, please remember that this is not a knee injury!
Here are three ways to prevent these common running injuries:
- Proper Running Shoes: Perhaps it is time to retire those sneakers you have had since track and field in college. They have holes, the shoelaces have turned into a different colour, and you get water anytime you step near water. You may have fond memories, but they could impact your running or jogging. At least it’s an excuse to purchase a comfortable, expensive, and brand-name shoe to improve your running.
- Reduce Mileage: If you feel the slightest of discomfort in your bones, then maybe it is time to take some precautionary measures and reduce your mileage. There is nothing wrong with taking a few minutes or a few kilometres from your running adventures, especially if doing more could sideline you for weeks or months. Indeed, it might be a one-off, so pay attention to after a couple of runs.
- Stop Going Downhill: Running downhill places a lot of strain on your legs and feet. For some of the aforementioned injuries, they occur because of your desire to run downhill. Take a break, limit your downhill adventures, and, should you continue running in a downward direction, then make sure you’re paying attention to any pain or discomfort in your body.
“Running is nothing more than a series of arguments between the part of your brain that wants to stop and the part that wants to keep going.”
This is a quote that every runner can understand and empathize with. It is a challenging sport, but neither your mind nor your body want to quit when the going gets tough.