5 Tips for Preventing a Running Injury
Running is a great source of exercise, but if not performed correctly, it can result in injury. In fact, the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation has reported that 70% of all runners are injured each year. To follow are the 5 most common injuries sustained while running, and some tips for preventing them.
Most Common Running-sustained Injuries
- Runner's Knee causes pain in the knee cap, especially when running or walking downhill or spending extended periods of time with knees bent (such as sitting).
- Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) causes pain on the outside of the knee. Pain usually starts in the middle or towards the end of a running session.
- Shin Splints cause pain in the front of the legs, generally caused from wearing ill-fitting athletic shoes or entering a workout at a level that is too intense.
- Achilles Tendinitis is a progressive condition that starts as mild pain above the heel that migrates up the leg after running.
- Plantar Fasciitis is most common in flat-footed runners, but individuals with normal arches may experience pain associated with this condition as well. Those who push off of the ground too harshly with their toes while walking and running may develop this condition, which causes pain in the sole of the foot near the heel.
Tips for Preventing Running Injuries
- Warm up! If you're new to running, or working on increasing your distance or time, it is important to gradually ease into accomplishing a new goal. Always walk, and progress into a jog before running. The body needs to prepare for the strain you are about to put on it. Easing into an aggressive or long run helps the muscles warm up and loosen so that they can support your bones and joints from all of the stress running places on the body.
- Know your weight ratio. Running increases the weight bared by your knees by 4 times. For example if you weigh 150 pounds, while you are running your knees are supporting 600 pounds of pressure every time your feet hit the pavement. If you are overweight, try low-impact running, such as on an elliptical.
- Cross train. If running is your only form of exercise, you are putting yourself at risk for an overuse injury. Try only running on odd-numbered days, and biking on even days. This will give your joints and muscles a break while strengthening other parts of the body.
- If the shoes fit, wear them. Make sure that your sneakers aren't too tight or too loose. Ill-fitting athletic footwear can result in serious injuries that could put you out for a long period of time.
- Cool down. When you're finished with your run, make sure you walk and stretch to sooth your muscles.
Sports Medicine in Napa and Vacaville
For more information on injury prevention, contact us today. You can reach us directly at 707.258.2547 in Napa or 707.446.6206 in Vacaville. We look forward to meeting you!