In an ideal world, running would never give you injuries – after all, it is one of the healthiest things you can do, right? However, running puts a lot of pressure on your joints. While healthy joints can take a hit and recover quickly if you have a health condition that affects the musculoskeletal system, previously suffered an injury to your lower extremities, are not conditioning your body well enough to run, or if you are not wearing the right footwear, it is very likely that you will injure yourself.
Here are some common running injuries that you should be aware of.
Also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), runner’s knee refers to a group of knee injuries commonly developed through running. Runner’s knee can cause pain, weakness, buckling, stiffness, and other symptoms in the knee. Treatment involves the RICE method — rest, icing, compression, and elevation. To prevent it, you should shorten your strides and land on surfaces with your knees slightly bent. Also, strengthening the quadriceps muscles usually lowers your risk of developing this injury. Make sure to stretch and warm-up before every run.
A stressed Achilles tendon can cause pain along the back of the leg near the heel, where the tendon is located. A sudden increase in intensity and frequency of physical activities usually causes this injury. Tight calf muscles may also cause it. Resting and icing the area several times a day after running is usually recommended for treatment. Strengthening the calf muscles, conditioning, and warming up before physical activities usually help prevent Achilles tendinitis.
Heel pain is the most common symptom of plantar fasciitis, which develops when the plantar fascia, located at the bottom of the foot, becomes inflamed. The pain is usually felt right when you wake up in the morning and after you are on your feet, walk, or run for a while. Symptoms include a sharp, burning, or dull pain in the heel of the foot. Plantar fasciitis typically affects both feet at the same time. Inadequate footwear, being overweight, overexerting yourself, and foot abnormalities are all causes of plantar fasciitis. Before every run, make sure you wear the right footwear, warm up, and increase the intensity and duration of your runs gradually.
Shin splint symptoms include pain in the shin area (front side of the leg between the knee and ankle) that occurs while you run. It feels like a stabbing or burning pain in the shin. When you stop running or walking, the pain generally goes away immediately. Shin splints develop when you increase the intensity of your physical activity way too quickly. Rest, icing, and taking NSAIDs usually relieve shin splint symptoms. Slowing down the intensity of your workout or exercise also relieves symptoms.
Contrary to popular belief, not all fractures make themselves known immediately. You may have a fracture develop after weeks or months of continued pressure on the bone, and when the fracture develops, you may not feel a sudden pain or immobilization that would alert you to the serious injury. Repetitive stress on bones can cause stress fractures over time. Symptoms include pain, soreness, tenderness, and swelling that just won’t go away. Typically, the symptoms get a lot worse over a short period of time when a fracture develops. The only way to know if you have a stress fracture is by getting an imaging test done through a doctor. Depending on the location and extent of your stress fracture, you may need immobilization, rest from physical activities, or even surgery.
Comprehensive Treatment for Runners’ Injuries in Little Rock, Arkansas
Dr. William F. Hefley and his team at Bowen Hefley Orthopedics specialize in the treatment of injuries of the hip, shoulder, and knee, include those affecting runners. If you have an orthopedic injury due to a sport you participate in, or if you have an orthopedic condition, such as arthritis, visit us today and see how we can relieve your symptoms and help you gain a better quality of life.
To schedule a consultation, call Bowen Hefley Orthopedics at (800) 336-2412 or request an appointment now. We look forward to serving you soon.