Running is a very common activity for most people and is a great way to get fit and stay healthy. However, many people actually injure themselves from running because they either push themselves too hard or overuse their muscles. As a runner, there are definitely different measures you can take to avoid these injuries and being aware of the most common running injuries is one of the first steps you can take.
Runner’s knee (also called Patellofemoral pain syndrome) is a common overuse injury and causes irritation in the cartilage right underneath the kneecap. Pain from runner’s knee often flares up from long runs, sitting down for too long, and going up or down hills/stairs. The best way to treat it is by resting your knee. Take extra rest days, lessen the amount of miles you run, and only go as far as you can without having pain.
A stress fracture is a tiny crack in a bone that happens because of cumulative strain on the bone. It can cause a lot of pain and discomfort for runners and usually occurs on the shins, feet, or heels. People who overtrain usually get stress fractures and the only way to treat it is by rest. Trying to run through the pain will only make a stress fracture worse and take longer to heal.
Shin splints usually result from small tears that occur around the the tibia (shin). People who change their workout routine too quickly or come back from a prolonged layoff are at risk of getting shin splints. Additionally, people with flat feet are also more likely to get it. The best way to treat it is by resting and stretching your calves. After you take a couple of weeks off to heal, you can gradually increase your running workload.
Plantar fasciitis are small tears and inflammation of ligaments and tendons in the foot. It usually causes a sharp, tight, and painful sensation at the base of the heel. The common causes of this condition are overuse or improper footwear. The best way to treat it is by resting your feet and massaging and stretching them often.
Achilles tendinitis is the inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel. The Achilles tendon often becomes inflamed when it is overused. When it is under too much stress, the tendon begins to stiffen up and cause pain in that area. It often occurs to those who dramatically increase their training. The best way to treat it is by resting, icing the area, and stretching your calves.
These are usually the most common injuries that runners suffer from. A common theme between all of them is that rest is usually the best treatment. If you think you are suffering from one of these injuries, you should take time off to rest your body and let it heal. If the pain is too severe, you should see a physical therapist or doctor.
Did you know that you have Direct Access to Physical Therapy? No referral is needed. We offer the best Physical Therapy on Long Island where you can get help from our trusted and expert Physical Therapists. We have several locations on Long Island including Massapequa, Valley Stream, Wantagh and Lindenhurst. To start your Physical Therapy evaluation, call Park Physical Therapy and The Physical Therapy Alliance at (516) 568-4444.