Experiencing an injury in the midst of your running training can really halt your progress, especially if you have a goal in mind that you’re hoping to achieve. It’s often during times that we ramp up the training, for example when you’re training to achieve a new time, or a new distance, that we tend to come down with some kind of injury. While keeping your body strong by cross-training, as well as taking time off to rest if you’ve been training hard, are both helpful methods in fending off injuries sometimes these things happen. We’re going to go through the five most common running injuries and how to identify them.
What is Runner’s Knee?
Another common injury is runner’s knee, also known as jumper’s knee in children. This affects the front of the knee or around the knee joint, and is essentially excessive pressure going through the quad tendon, pulling between the patella and into the lower leg. This is something that is particularly aggravated by running in a similar way to IT band syndrome. It can, again, be flared by running in the morning before or on the way to work, followed by a long period of time sitting. This can cause the patella to pull on the femur, the upper leg, which will likely cause pain when you eventually stand up. You may find benefit in easing the load by reducing your training, combined with icing the area multiple times during the day for 5 minutes at a time. Certain stretches can be beneficial to help rehabilitate the area, these can be advised by a healthcare professional who can also assess your knee at the same time.
What are Shin Splints?
Shin splints can be an incredibly painful condition that can often lead to even more stressful conditions if it is left untreated and you continue to run. These affect the lower leg in the inside on the front of the tibia, the body part of your shin. This area is particularly can be particularly sensitive to pain, which is the reason why shin pads are often worn while playing football. The calf muscle wraps around the front of the leg and plugs into the bone on the front of the leg. The repetitive impact of running alongside potentially other factors such as a sudden increase in training, running on hard surfaces, ill-fitting shoes, over-pronating or having already tight muscles, could all increase the likelihood of experiencing shin splints. During this repetitive stress, the fibres that attach the muscle into the bone become disrupted which is what causes such intense pain in a lot of runners. This problem can be rehabilitated at home, but if ignored it could progress into compartment syndrome, which is more serious.
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