5 common running injuries that you shouldn’t ignore

Runner with knee pain in the early morning - Tifosi Sports

5 common running injuries that you shouldn’t ignore

Running injuries have the power of putting you out of action for years on end, but many of the more common niggles can be attended to early and nipped in the bud before they cause trouble.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common running injuries that you should keep an eye out for and take care of before they cause bigger problems.

Achilles tendinopathy

When the large tendon that attaches the calf to the back of the heel becomes inflamed, stiffness and pain in the region of the Achilles tendon is often the result. Caused by tight calf muscles or by distances that are too long, repetitive stress can bring about the familiar pang many runners know well. Don’t run through this injury – complications could see you not being able to run for up to six months! Rather take time to rehabilitate the Achilles tendon with eccentric heel drops, and take care to only go out running again when you aren’t experiencing any pain or discomfort anymore.

Runner’s knee

When there is irritation of the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap, runners may experience the symptoms of runner’s knee (the colloquial term for patelloformal pain syndrome, or PFPS). Pain or discomfort after a long run, extended periods of sitting, or when descending from an incline are some of the telltale signs of PFPS. It is recommended that you take extra rest days and reduce the duration and length of your run if you suspect that you might be suffering from runner’s knee.

Plantar fasciitis

A bruise or dull ache on the bottom of the heel or along the arch of the foot often point to a very common running injury called plantar fasciitis. This condition is caused by excessive amounts of running on hard surfaces like the road without proper support, or by standing for extended periods of time. While the typical recovery time for plantar fasciitis is six months, it may take from three months to a year to fully return to normal. If you’re recovering from plantar fasciitis, you can maintain your fitness by replacing running with alternatives like swimming or cycling, provided that you don’t experience any discomfort while exercising.

Shin splints

Medial tibial stress syndrome is characterised by pain along the shinbone on the front or inside of the lower leg, and is often caused by wearing the wrong shoe or running too much in a short amount of time. Runners with shin splints should slow down their runs to a level, distance and speed that’s comfortable, and slowly build up again by increasing the distance they run by no more than 10% each week.

Stress fractures

Repeated cumulative stress on the bone causes one of the most serious common running injuries around. Stress fractures can occur in the heels, feet or shinbone, and usually require a recovery time of eight to 16 weeks, during which runners should avoid running altogether. Resume a normal running schedule once you don’t experience any discomfort during or after activity.

Listening to your body is key to keeping it in good running order. If something feels amiss, it’s better to consult with your physician and start a recovery regime as soon as possible. Remember, it’s always better to take some time off for proper recuperation – ignoring an injury often leads to consequences that are much more far-reaching.

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