If you have just started a running program this summer or are thinking about starting one, it is important to listen to any aches and pains in your body. Listed below are some common injuries that could be associated with running along with their severity and what to do if you think you may be suffering from one of these injuries. Not everyone who takes part in a running training program will experience injuries, but those listed below are the most common injuries runners will come across.
Normally caused because people are not used to exercising or they are used to a different form of exercise. You will feel stiffness which often occurs to be at it’s worst approximately 48 hours post-exercise, this is also known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Read more about DOMS here. This is nothing serious to worry about as it happens to the best of us, but to relieve discomfort be sure to use ice to reduce swelling and then apply heat to improve circulation, followed by light massage and passive stretching or sore muscles.
These can be caused by friction between your sock and your skin causing fluid to form beneath the skin. This could be slightly painful, especially if you continue to run on it eventually causing it to burst; however, with proper care from blister remedies available at most pharmacies they should be curable. You can help prevent blisters by keeping your feet dry and by wearing proper shoes that fit snug so your foot does not slide around while running (possibly look into insoles if needed). If blisters continue to be a problem you might want to get a proper assessment performed by a podiatrist or professional who specializes in insole/shoe fitting.
This is very common in people new to exercise and could be caused by a variety of things such as weak abdominal muscles or eating too close to exercise. It will feel like a sharp pain normally located right below the rib cage just to the right or left of the diaphragm. A side stitch can be prevented by changing up your breathing pattern (normally needs to be slowed down), try changing your run pace, or lastly try applying pressure to the area and take a minute to stretch out your torso with arms overhead.
ILIOTIBIAL BAND SYNDROME:
Also known as “ITB” and presents itself as pain along the outside of the leg which can be anywhere from a dull ache to a sharp pain, dependent of severity especially while weight bearing. Swelling and tenderness along the outside of the leg could also be present so it is important to apply ice immediately post-activity. If you suspect you suffer from this condition be sure to see a specialist for an assessment and proper diagnosis, in the meantime try stretching the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal, and calf muscles for relief. Massaging the outside of the leg with a rolling pin is also helpful to decrease friction and stiffness.
The plantar fascia is a thick tissue on the sole of the foot and when this tissue becomes inflamed is triggers pain along the arch or near the bottom of the heel. One of the key signs to watch for with this injury is pain in the sole of the foot during the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning. If you suspect you suffer from this injury, be sure to get checked out by a specialist for proper diagnosis and gait assessment to discover the cause. Until your appointment applying ice to the bottom of the foot as well as stretching the calves, quads, and small muscles of the foot usually help to relieve discomfort. If you decide to continue with your training, try to switch to a softer surface and avoid cement.
More technically known as “tibial stress syndrome” and is caused by inflammation of the tissues in your lower leg and/or possibly irritation of the bone. This will present itself near the beginning of workouts and feels like a throbbing or aching pain along the inside of the shin, discomfort can occasionally decrease once the legs have warmed up. If you suspect you have shin splints be sure to see a specialist to get a proper diagnosis and until then avoid running on cement, apply ice and rest, and strengthen and stretch the muscles in the front of your leg.
Also known as “PTF” and presents itself as pain and discomfort right underneath or on the sides of the kneecap, occasionally associated with swelling. If you suspect you suffer from PTF be sure to see a specialist to get a proper diagnosis and until then be sure to apply ice, check that your shoes are still providing enough support, and stretch the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles.
Feel free to email Michelle@CORE-Condition.com with any questions you may have about starting a running program safely and how to best avoid any of these injuries.