Running is an activity that has existed for as long as humans have learned how to walk. The terrestrial locomotion was once used by humans to hunt their preys but soon evolved into a form of exercise and utilized in almost every single physical activity around. For athletes and physically active individuals that run on a regular basis, they may find themselves experiencing a list of injuries that seem to plague them chronically. Today, we’ll be taking a look at three of the most common running injuries, and how to prevent them so you can continue enjoying the sport for the days to come.
Achilles Tendonitis is a very real problem that affects many runners’ due to wear and tear from constant usage. To put it simply, the Achilles tendon is the tissue that is attached to the calf muscles and is connected to the heel bone. In long distance running and runners who have intense workouts with each session (sprinting, HIIT) they may experience Achilles tendonitis as a chronic condition.
The easiest way to treat and prevent Achilles tendonitis is by applying the RICE technique to your Achilles tendon and resting until your tendon has recovered. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon can only be treated and prevented through adequate rest after a strenuous training episode.
Runner’s knee or otherwise known as patellofemoral pain syndrome is a pain felt in the knee caps of avid runners. The main reason why runners experience pain in the patella (kneecaps) is that of biomechanical stress on the runner’s knee. Adding to that, poor conditioning of the quadriceps and hamstrings can lead to external stress around the knee, leading to a lack of support of the patella.
The simplest way to prevent runner’s knee from happening is to run on softer surfaces if you plan to run regularly. Meanwhile, try to wear shoes with the right amount of pronation for your feet and get one with ample cushioning. Strengthening your quadriceps and hamstrings by squatting can prevent runner’s knee if the cause of it is due to your weak lower body.
Shin splints refer to the pain felt in the frontal part of the lower leg, between the knee and the ankles. They occur because of inflammation in the muscles, bone tissue and tendons and the pain will seem to arise from the inside edge of the shinbone. Most of the time, shin splints develop only because of repetitive activity that occurs only after the individual has overworked their lower body. Although certain individuals are more predisposed to shin splints such as individuals with a flat foot, incorrect wear of apparels (running shoes) can also result in shin splints.
In order to prevent shin splints from occurring, it is imperative to wear proper fitting athletic shoes and build up on your fitness. Most of the time, new runners that overexert themselves tend to be the ones that suffer from shin splints. For runners that are training regularly, it is important to build your fitness levels up slowly before ramping up training in intensity. With time, shin splints will no longer be a problem for you.