Running is a beautiful sport. In addition to giving you a great cardio workout, it will help you manage your weight and is one of the best ways to maintain fitness. However, running can also cause injuries to your body. As a result of the constant pounding against the ground by the legs, a lot of stress goes through the ankles, knees, hips and back. Because it is a repetitive motion for sometimes long periods of time, it is very important to be aware of potential injuries and other warning signs that can lead to harm.
- Officially known as “medial tibial stress syndrome” (MTSS), a lot of runners get this injury
along their shin. Initially, you will feel some pain at the front of the lower leg during initial phase of a run or during warm-ups. Over time, the pain will last longer until it becomes too
painful to continue running. In severe cases, these shin splints eventually lead to a stress
fracture. The best way to manage shin splints is rest. As a former competitive runner, I understand that it is not always possible to rest, especially during mid-season or when you are training for an especially strenuous event such as the half or full marathon.
- The primary cause of muscle cramping is caused by simply not drinking enough water. This is why a lot of marathoners are encouraged to hydrate well before, during, and after races. The secondary cause of muscle cramping is from inadequate stretching. Mechanically speaking, cramping means that the muscles get extremely tight without ever returning to its relaxed state. Stretching essentially counteracts the muscle cramping. It tends to occur in the calves, hamstring, and quads but can also occur in any muscle of the body. So don’t forget to hydrate, and remember to stretch as often as you can!
- Officially known as “patellofemoral pain syndrome” (PFPS), this is pain felt by runners at or around the knee cap. Muscle imbalance can cause the improper gliding of the knee cap, which causes inflammation under the knee cap. Symptoms include pain from climbing stairs, jumping, excessive squatting, or in the worst case scenario, casually walking.
So there you go. These are the 3 most common injuries that afflict runners. I hope this helps you better understand your condition. It is very important NOT to adopt the ‘no-pain, no-gain’ and the ‘wait-and-see’ mindset in these circumstances. Many times, these conditions can even co-exist due to the constant stress experienced by the legs and the inadvertent changes that we make to compensate for each additional strike against an already vulnerable part of the body. In our practice, we closely examine your biomechanics in order to identify the source of the pain. We will not only help you manage your symptoms but will also provide you with the knowledge to avoid and prevent future injuries.
Let me know in the comment or shoot me an email on which topic you would like us to focus on for the next blog. Have a safe training!
— Energize Physical Therapy