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Running is a great way to stay in shape. But it can take a toll on your muscles and joints. To avoid running injuries, it's important to take precautions before you set out.

WebMD takes a look at common running injuries and gives you tips to prevent and treat them.

10 Common Running InjuriesMost running injuries happen when you push yourself too hard. Adding distance or speed to your running routine, running up hills, and interval training are just some of the reasons running injuries occur. Body mechanics -- the way your body is designed -- also play a role.

Many injuries occur when you first start running or after recovering from an injury. The hips, knees, legs, and feet are the most vulnerable to injury.

Here are 10 common running injuries.

1. Runner's kneeThis is a common overuse injury. Runner's knee has several different causes. But it's commonly due to the kneecap being out of alignment.

Over time, the cartilage on the kneecap can wear down. Vigorous activity leads topain around the kneecap, particularly when:

  • going up or down stairs
  • squatting
  • sitting with the knee bent for a long time
2.Stress fractureThis is a small crack in a bone that causes pain and discomfort. It typically affects runners in the shin and feet. It is often due to going too hard before your body gets used to a new activity.

Pain gets worse with activity and improves with rest. Rest is important, as continued stress on the bone can lead to more serious injury.

3.Shin splintA pain that occurs in the front or inside of the lower leg along the shin bone (tibia). Shin splints commonly occur after a change in activity, such as running longer distances or increasing the number of days you run too quickly.

People with flat feet are more likely to develop shin splints.

Treatment includes:

  • rest
  • stretching exercises
  • slow return to activity after several weeks of healing
4.Achilles tendinitisThis is inflammation of the Achilles tendon. That's the large tendon that attaches the calf to the back of the heel.

Achilles tendinitis causes pain and stiffness in the area of the tendon, especially in the morning and with activity. It is usually caused by repetitive stress to the tendon, often due to increasing running distance too quickly. Tight calf muscles can also contribute.

Treatment includes:

  • rest
  • icing the area
  • calf stretches
5.Muscle pullA small tear in your muscle, also called a muscle strain, often caused by overstretching of a muscle. If you suffer a pulled muscle, you may feel a popping sensation when the muscle tears.

Treatment includes RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

Muscle pull commonly affects these muscles:

  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
  • calf
  • groin
6.Ankle sprainThis is the stretching or tearing of ligaments surrounding the ankle. It often occurs when the foot twists or rolls inward. Sprains typically get better with rest, ice, compression, and elevating the foot




7.Plantar fasciitis. An inflammation of the plantar fascia. That's the thick band of tissue in the bottom of the foot that extends from the heel to the toes.

People with tight calf muscles and a high arch are more prone to plantar fasciitis. Although it may be linked to an increase in activity, plantar fasciitis may occur without any identifiable reason.

Treatment includes:

  • calf stretches
  • rest
  • icing the bottom of the foot
8.Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS)This syndrome causes pain on the outside of the knee. The iliotibial band is a ligament that runs along the outside of the thigh, from the top of the hip to the outside of the knee.

ITBS occurs when this ligament thickens and rubs the knee bone, causing inflammation. Long-distance runners are more likely to develop ITBS.

Treatment includes:

  • decreasing the amount of exercise
  • heat and stretching prior to exercise
  • icing the area after activity
9.BlistersThese are fluid-filled sacks on the surface of the skin. They are caused by friction between your shoes/socks and skin.

To help prevent blisters:

  • start using new shoes gradually
  • wear socks with a double layer
  • apply petroleum jelly on areas prone to blisters
10.Temperature-related injuriesThese include:

  • sunburn
  • heat exhaustion
  • frostbite
  • hypothermia
These can be prevented by dressing appropriately, staying hydrated, and using sunscreen/sunblock.


"Tips to Prevent Running Injuries"

By taking a few precautions and planning, you can prevent many common running injuries. Here are some tips for preventing injuries.

Listen to your bodyDon't ignore pain. A little soreness is OK. But if you notice consistent pain in a muscle or joint that doesn't get better with rest, see your health care provider.

Create a running planBefore beginning a running routine, talk to a trainer. A trainer can help you create a running plan that is in line with your current fitnessabilities and long-term goals.

Warm-up and stretch: Many injuries occur as a result of inadequate stretching. Before and after you run, stretch your muscles thoroughly -- especially your calf, hamstrings, groin, and quadriceps.

Also, warm up for five minutes -- by walking, for example -- before you start stretching. Stretching cold muscles may cause injuries.

Strength trainAdd weight training and ab exercises to your routine. This strengthens muscles and develops core strength.

Cross train: Mix up your fitness routine. Don't only run. Try swimming, biking, tennis, or some other activity. This helps prevent overuse injuries that more commonly occur when you do the same type of exercise over and over again.

Dress appropriatelyWear lightweight, breathable clothing that wicks moisture away from your skin. Dress in layers. Also wear a hat to protect against the sun and cold.

Be shoe smartWear proper-fitting socks and shoes with good support. If the soles of your running shoes have worn thin or are angled, it's time to get a new pair. If you have foot problems, such as flat feet or high arches, consider using orthotic shoe inserts.

Run wiselyRun on a flat, smooth surface and avoid steep hills until your body gets used to the activity.

Be safe: Run during the day, in well-lit areas, or use a light so that you can be seen. Keep a cell phone and identification on you. If running with headphones, set the volume low enough so that you can hear cars and other noises. Run with a partner when you can.

Weather mattersMonitor the weather conditions before you go for a run. Don't run outside if it is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, below freezing, or the humidity is high.

Stay hydratedMake sure you drink an extra 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups of water on the days you run. If you are running for more than an hour, drink a sports drink to replenish electrolytes lost in sweat.


Treatment of Common Running Injuries

Most running injuries can be relieved by following these treatment strategies. If pain and discomfort continues, see your health care provider. You may need more advanced treatment to resolve your running injury.

Rest: Take it easy. If you keep running, your injury may get worse. Choose alternative ways to exercise while you heal, such as swimming or cycling.

Ice and cold therapy: Apply ice packs to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling.

CompressionWrap the affected area with tape and use splints and supports to control swelling and stabilize the affected area.

ElevateIf you sprain your ankle or hurt your foot, elevate it to reduce swelling.

Stretch: To reduce pain and tension of the affected area, gently stretch andmassage the injured area.

Pain relievers: Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil etc.) and naproxen, as recommended by your health care provider to relieve pain and inflammation.

Don't try to push through pain. If you notice discomfort, take a break from running. If the pain continues, seek care from your health care provider.

post related to webMD.


7/16/2014 07:25:04

I find that when I take e21 it helps reduce the pain of an injury I acquired during running! It also relieves muscle cramps and pushes me further! It replenishes your electrolytes which is said to reduce pain cause from running and working out!

Reply
Sam Sloane
12/21/2014 21:57:00

I have just finished looking into some reseach by Dr Michale Fredericson on ITBS and specifically Gluteus Medius weakness.
He did a study using just 2 stretches and 2 hip stregthening exercises and got good results with runners in just 6 weeks. I detailed the stretches here:
http://www.howtostretchitband.com/itb-stretches/

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