Heath experts advise that running is beneficial in preventing many diseases and medical conditions. Other than the fitness reasons, there are millions of athletes all over the world who take part in competitive running. Regardless of the reasons as to why one decides to run, there is a chance that they will be involved in one type of injury or the other. Luckily, there are solutions to the common running injuries that have been identified.
Runners Knee or patellofemoral pain syndrome comes about as a result of damage to the cartilage beneath the patella. It is common for this pain to flare up after long hours of sitting down or when descending hills or stairs. Predisposing factors to suffering this form of injury include weak quadriceps muscles, gluteus muscles and hips. One can run through it but they need to take adequate rest preferably every other day. Bicycling strengthens the quads and speeds up recovery.
Achilles tendinitis is also fairly common. The Achilles tendon joins the calf muscles to the heel. When subjected to a huge amount of stress, there is tightening and irritation (tendinitis). Runners that suddenly increase their training intensity particularly hills and speed and have weak calves are at the highest risk. One should take some days off training to allow for healing. Some experts say that wearing of compression stockings may provide some relief.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome (or ITBS) occurs in 12% of the injuries and is a recurrent problem in 14% of runners. The injury occurs due to constant rubbing of the iliotibial band against the side of the femur. It is more likely to occur in individuals that are involved in a lot of track activities and downhill running. Weak gluteal muscles and hip abductors are also a major contributor. A long term solution is to strengthen the weak muscles.
The feet are adapted to absorb the huge amount of shock that results from intense physical exercise. One of the adaptions is the presence of the plantar fascia. The fascia is a band of connective tissue that extends from the heel to the toes. Intense exercise causes injury to this fascia a condition known as planter fasciitis. Feet with excessively high or low arches are more likely to be affected. One should ensure that they use proper fitting shoes to prevent the problem.
Hamstring Injuries are a common complaint not just for runners but for many other athletes. The commonest complaint is weakness which may result from their being too short or too long. Sudden onset of strong pain calls for extended periods of rest before one can run again. Less severe ones may permit running but one may need to consider bicycling, swimming and pool running as alternatives.
Another group of muscles affected in many injuries is the group surrounding the tibia. The resultant injury is known as a shin splint or the medial tibial stress syndrome. These muscles often get torn in new runners or those that have returned after a long period of time. Flat feet and wrong shoes are risk factors for this condition. The recommendation is that one should reduce mileage to what they can accommodate.
Many athletes often suffer stress fractures. This is because persistent strain on various bones such as the tibia, the metatarsals and the calcaneus among others. It occurs when training intensity is increased too soon before the bones have recovered from the effects of previous workout. Just like many of the other common running injuries adequate rest is recommended.