Fit Tip: Common Running Injuries and How to Avoid Them
If you love running, you won’t be happy if you get an injury that leaves your running shoes sitting in the closet without purpose. The good news is you can prevent injury with a little bit of planning, a realistic weekly running regimen for your fitness level, and an awareness of some of the most common running injuries. And don’t forget to cross-train. A strong overall body can prevent injuries in any sport or activity of your choice. Here’s what you can do to prevent these common injuries:
Runner’s Knee. It happens from overuse when the cartilage on the kneecap wears down from vigorous workouts. The pain is typically behind or around the knee cap. If possible, keep to 15 miles total per week. We know for some of you that is hard to do; however, research shows that more than 15 miles per week can be excessive and tough on the body, causing injuries. If runner’s knee does happen to you, rest, stretch and slowly return to running after you have given yourself several weeks to heal.
Shin Splints. When tiny tears occur around your shin bone, it results in shin splints, a common running injury. If you are a new runner or you stopped running for a while and now you are back, you are more at risk for shin splints. The best way to avoid them altogether is to go with baby steps as you get started with running. Gradually increase your mileage. Make sure you are wearing a good quality running shoe with the proper support. It’s always a good idea to go to specialty store to get your running shoes where they watch you run and fit you with the correct type of running shoes for you based on whether you have high arches or flat feet; and whether you tend to pronate or supinate.
Illotibial Band Syndrome. Many professionals incorrectly diagnose hip and thigh pain as ITBS. However, ITBS is a knee pain condition on the outside of the knee. You are more at risk if you frequently run down hills, have a leg length variance, or put on lots of miles. To prevent this injury, take a rest from running for a short while and cross train in the pool or on a bike. Use a foam roller as a self massage tool; stay hydrated; and work on strengthening the glutes and hips.
Don’t run outside of your current fitness level to help stay injury free and you won’t find yourself on the sidelines.