Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Common Running Injuries: Don't Get Stuck on the Bench!

One of the greatest things about running is that it attracts a wide array of individuals with goals ranging from the Olympics to simply running 2 miles. Some runners simply enjoy running to relieve stress, while others run for causes involving life threatening diseases such as leukemia and cancer. It is important that runners are in top form and not suffering from common running injuries. Unfortunately for runners, there are numerous different issues that can leave them stuck on the bench for days, weeks, or even months. Most common injuries are caused by overuse, over-training, or an error involving running form. By being familiar with the most common injuries, runners can better avoid making mistakes that could lead to forced time off.

Shin Splints:
Commonly referred to as "shin splints", this injury is caused by swelling of the sheath surrounding the tibia bone. Symptoms of shin splints often include: pain over foot when toes are pointed downward, swelling, pain on inside bottom half of shin bone, and increasing pain after use. The best way to treat shin splints is through rest, icing, and using properly fitted running shoes.

Runner's Knee:
Runner's knee can either be caused by reduced strength in the quadricep muscles or improperly fitted shoes. As a result, wearing away on the back of the kneecap occurs. Runner's knee is typically treated with strengthening exercises. It's best to see a doctor when deciding how to best treat runner's knee.

Pulled Muscles:
Another common injury for runners is pulled muscles.  They are extremely painful and can take ages to heal. Most muscle tears are essentially small muscle tears that could have been prevented with proper warm-up and or not overdoing a workout. When treating a pulled muscle, it's best to take anti-inflammatory medications and icing the area frequently.

Although it sounds extremely minor, a blister can be excruciatingly painful for runners. Most of the time, blisters are caused by the combination of moisture and friction. To help prevent blisters, use a synthetic sock to stop moisture.

The best way to prevent common running issues is to warm up properly, stretch and do not over-train. Good luck and remember to take care of yourself!

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