Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world. According to Business Insider, “many experts consider exercise to be the closest thing to a miracle drug.” This is because running can reduce stress, improve heart health, and help people cope with depression.
For all the good it can do us, many people accidentally injure themselves while running. Here is a list from WebMD of the most common running injuries and how to avoid them.
1. Runner’s Knee
What it is – Runner’s knee is a repetitive strain injury on your knee. This is usually from overuse and can be described as pain on or around your knee when moving your knee joint. Typically the pain increases when squatting or going up and down stairs.
How to avoid it – Make sure your thigh muscles are strong so your knees aren’t taking all of the abuse. Add intense moves, like squats or lounges, slowly to your work out routine. Try not to run on pavement or asphalt. The hard ground is even harder on your knees.
2. Stress Fracture
What it is – A stress fracture is a small thin crack in a bone, usually the shin or feet, that causes pain. The most likely cause is pushing your body harder than it was ready or able to physically go.
How to avoid it – Don’t force your body into an intense workout routine before it is ready. Allow your muscles to build strength gradually to keep from cracking any of your bones.
3. Shin Splints
What it is – Shin splints are overstressing the muscles, tendons and bone tissue in your shins. It is pain along your tibia and can feel very similar to a stress fracture. One major difference is a shin splint will hurt along your entire shin.
How to avoid it – Don’t push yourself harder than your ready to go. If your body is used to running 2 miles don’t jump it to 6 in just one day. Your body needs time to adjust to the changes you are making. Try to run on soft surfaces like grass, turf, and rubber track.
4. Achilles Tendinopathy
What it is – This is also known as tendinitis. This is when your tendon tightens and stiffens due to overwork. There will be pain in the tendon area especially in the morning and while you’re exercising.
How to avoid it – Thoroughly stretch before and after each workout. Keeping your tendon limber during exercise is a good way to keep it from getting overstressed.
5. Muscle Pull
What it is – A pulled muscle is when your muscle tears. If you do pull a muscle there is a good chance you’ll hear a popping sound as it tears.
How to avoid it – Always stretch before your workout. Have a warmup and cool down routine that you incorporate everytime you exercise.
Running has many benefits so don’t let the fear of getting hurt stop you from getting out for a jog. If you do hurt yourself be sure to visit with a doctor like an orthopedic surgeon at Summit Orthopaedics so you can properly care for your injury.
Just be sure to take care of yourself and be aware of how your body is feeling. Everybody is different so don’t feel guilt-tripped by friends into doing more than you’re physically ready or able to do.