Common Running Injuries and How to Treat Them

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If you run to stay in shape, then you know how important it is to buy the proper footwear to protect your feet, knees, and back from injuries. However, no matter how prepared or cautious you are, you can still get injured while running. Here are three of the most common injuries that you may have to deal with as a runner and how they can be treated.

Runner’s Knee

This conditions usually occurs because of overuse of the joint, but it can also be caused by foot problems. Runners who have hypermobile feet – in which the joints move too much – or who have fallen arches may experience runner’s knee as well. Due to wear and tear on the knee, the cartilage around the kneecap can wear down and you may feel pain when you do activities such as climbing stairs or sitting with your knees bent for a long time.

To help reduce pain and swelling when it occurs, you should rest your knee and ice it for 20 to 30 minutes every three to four hours. When you do go running, either tape your knee or wear a knee brace to provide extra support. You can also treat running injuries with sports orthotics, which help to properly align the foot and prevent further injuries.

Achilles Tendinitis

This occurs when the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf to the heel, becomes inflamed due to overuse when you run. It can also be caused by having flat feet or wearing the wrong type of shoes. To prevent pain, you should stretch your calf muscles before you start working out and wear running shoes that fit properly. In addition, you can add orthotics to help correct the effects of flat feet.

If you do feel pain in the Achilles tendon, then you need to rest and let your injury heal. You can also apply ice to help reduce inflammation and elevate your foot whenever you’re sitting down. In addition, when you resume running, either wrap your foot or wear a foot brace for extra support.

Shin Splints

Shin splints are probably one of the most common injuries for runners, and even some non-runners. Shin splints occur when the muscles and tendons of the shin become inflamed. This can happen because your shoes do not fit correctly, the ground where you run is too hard, or the arches of your feet may not be adequately supported.

To help with pain when shin splints occur, sit down and apply ice to your shins for 15 to 20 minutes. When you go to bed at night, sleep with your feet elevated above your heart to prevent swelling. In addition, insert orthotics like arch supports in your shoes and run on softer ground to help prevent this injury.

If your feet are well supported, then many of the injuries that occur while running can be avoided. When your feet are measured for running shoes, ask to have your foot alignment checked so you can buy the proper orthotics for support.