Running injuries are something we don’t pay much attention to as they tend to heal with a little rest. But, these regular looking injuries could gradually progress into a major health issue which will hamper your mobility. Nearly half of the running population suffers from some type of running related knee injury according to this study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.Running is one of the core exercises that many people do but before you go out there for your run you should take all the necessary precautions to avoid injury as much as possible. Read this list of common running injuries and necessary precautions to avoid them before you hit the trails.
1. Achilles Tendinitis
The Achilles tendon which connects your heel to the lower leg muscle can suffer a sprain or strain when running uphill. Major causes of Achilles tendinitis are a sudden sprint, overstretching of the muscle because of improper fitting, improper calf warm up before long runs and by natural structure of the foot.
Prevention Tip: Avoid strenuous running at the beginning. Be sure to gradually increase the intensity at which you run. Select shoes which fit you perfectly. It is not the metrics which matter but your comfort. Always ensure you stretch out your calf muscles after your workout. Stop if you feel something agitation in your heel and take rest until you feel better.
2. Runner’s Knee
This is the most commonly observed running injury which involves the knee joint. The injury affects the patella (knee cap) which experiences mild to mediocre pain constantly. The most common cause of this injury is bad landing posture, improper footwear and running on uneven surfaces. This can also be caused by muscle imbalance in your quads causing your knee cap to track improperly.
Prevention Tip: Check your landing posture i.e. the posture when your feet touch the ground. Make sure you don’t throw your feet to the ground putting unnecessary pressure on the knee joint. Choose soft even surfaces like a grass tracks in a park over running on hard uneven surfaces like concrete. When selecting your running footwear make sure it is adequately cushioned to support your weight. Get assessed to see if your problem is a quad muscle imbalance.
3. Patellar tendinitis
Patellar tendinitis is an overuse injury mostly observed in long distance runners. The injury is caused by microtrauma to the patellar tendons which hold the patella (kneecap) in place. It is also observed in individuals who over-exert their knee joint by indulging in strenuous training and repetitive sets of uphill sprints.
Prevention Tip: This is an overuse injury which could easily be avoided by refraining from strenuous exercises. Before indulging in strenuous activities make sure you strengthen your hamstrings and quad muscle to offer better support and reduce injury risk.
4. Muscle pull
One of the most commonly observed muscle injuries is overstretching of the fibres and tendons causing a partial or complete tear of the leg muscle. Amongst runners, the calf and the hamstring pull are commonly observed. Muscle pulls are caused due to inadequate stretching of the calf and hamstring muscles and overuse.
Prevention Tip: Before going on long runs it is important to stretch out your hamstring and calf muscles to achieve a minimum level of flexibility. Light warm-up and cool-down is important to avoid muscle pull.
An injury will keep you out of action for at least 1-2 weeks. So, it is better to take precautions then lose out on your work-out time.