If you are a passionate runner, chances are you have experienced – or have at least heard of some of the five most common running injuries. Although these injuries can occur regardless of your running style or experience, there are steps you can take to prevent these injuries from happening to you.
1. Runner’s Knee: This common injury can be caused from a wide variety of factors ranging from uneven terrain to the wrong style of running shoe. The end result is a dull or sharp pain behind the kneecap that doesn’t seem to go away. In an attempt to avoid runner’s knee, you can start with a proper shoe selection. Start by determining what type of runner you are and visit a local Sport Chalet for guidance.
2. Shin Splints: A shin splint is a painful injury that is often associated with sudden increases in your running routine. Since your legs bear the brunt of much of the pounding that comes with running, it is not surprising that many of the injuries occur on your shin or the surrounding muscles. Stretch your shins before and after a run. Consider a combination of icing and ibuprofen if the pain continues.
3. Blisters: Anyone that runs for an extended period of time is bound to get a blister. While this may seem somewhat obvious, many runners are not sure how to care for blisters that emerge. Blisters are a result of friction between your running shoe and your foot that can be quite painful if left unattended. First and foremost, you must ensure your running shoe is the proper size and style for your foot. If blisters occur, cover them with a bandage and add two layers of protection. To help prevent blisters, consider a smaller moisture wicking sock under a larger and thicker athlete sock.
4. Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is commonly referred to as “heel pain” by runners around the world. Your main line of defense from plantar fasciitis is your running shoes. Running shoes are designed to provide support from your heel to your toes so you can avoid this painful experience.
5. Stress Fracture: One of the most extreme injuries is the stress fracture. If you experience increased pain and swelling in one area of the leg, you should contact your doctor immediately. Much like any other type of fracture, you can expect a cast and several weeks of recovery time.