Different types of running injuries

  • By Dr. T Deepa Porkodi

Pushing yourself too hard by increasing the distances, running uphill, are just some of the few mistakes that lead to injuries.

Warming up before running, wearing the right shoes, and not pushing yourself too much can help prevent running related injuries.

Here are some of the most common running injuries:

  1. Runner’s Knee: This injury occurs due to overuse of knees. It happens when the knee cap becomes thin with overuse, and misaligns eventually. Under the condition, it becomes very painful to climb up and down stairs, and to sit with knees crossed for a long time.
  2. Stress Injury: This happens most commonly on the shin and ankle bones. It surfaces when one overuses a part, before the body has enough time to adjust to the activity. The pain typically gets better with rest. Without adequate rest there may be chances of permanent damage.
  3. Shin Splint: This is the pain that you feel along your tibia, or shin. This injury occurs when you suddenly increase the distance, or number of days in a week that you run. People with flat feet are the ones most prone to develop this pain. Adequate rest is the only thing that helps here. However, stretching exercises may also be helpful.
  4. Achilles Tendinitis: This is the condition where the Achilles tendon gets inflamed. This tendon is the one that joins the calf muscles to the heel. This injury occurs due to repetitive stress on the tendon. The pain is felt most when walking. Rest and calf stretch exercises help relieve the pain.
  5. Muscle Pull: This is the most common of all running injuries. Pushing yourself too hard may cause the muscle to tear away, causing terrible pain. The quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves are the most commonly torn muscles. Treatment involves RICE, i.e. rest, ice, compression and elevation.
  6. Ankle Sprain: This painful condition occurs when ankle ligaments get injured. The foot turning inwards or outwards, while running, leads to this kind of injury. Treatment involves rest, ice packs, and elevation.
  7. Plantar fascitis: This is the inflammation of the large band of tissue that runs across the base of your foot. The reasons for this type of injury are not very specific. People with high arches, and tight calf muscles are the ones most prone to this type of injury. Rest and ice compress over the base of foot help to alleviate the condition.
  8. Ileo-Tibial Band Syndrome: This syndrome is characterized by pain outside the knee. Ileo-tibial ligament is the one that runs at the outer border of the thigh, from the hip to the knee. When this band thickens, it rubs against the knee from the outside, causing it to get inflamed, and radiate pain. This pain is typically seen in long-distance runners. Decreasing the amount of exercise, heat application, with stretches, before any activity, and ice compression are the treatment options here.
  9. Blisters: These are painful, fluid filled sacs caused by friction between the shoes and feet. Wearing socks with double layers, and applying Vaseline to the area prone to blisters, are some preventive measures that help.

Running injuries often occur due to ignorance, and not taking proper care while running.

Improving the running technique helps you run efficiently, with reduced stress on your body, and less injury incidents.