You’re runner and we know you love to push yourself to the limit! Often this limit has it’s own limit, usually at the cost of an injury or strain! Knowing how to prevent them is key and will keep you on track.
Here are the Top 10 Common Running Injuries and how to prevent them:
1.Runner’s Knee: This is a common overuse injury. Runner’s knee has many different factors. One of the most aggravated causes is when your kneecap is out of alignment. Over time, the cartilage wears and strains. The weakening of ligaments, tendons and muscle around the area exacerbate and cause pain.
When will you feel this?
o Going up or down stairs
o Sitting with the knee bent for a long time
2. Stress Factor: This is a small crack in the bone that causes pain and discomfort. Typically runners will feel this on their shins or feet. Pushing yourself to the limit, working too hard before getting your body used to a new activity will cause this to happen.
When will you feel this?
o Pain gets worse with activity but better at rest
3. Shin Splits: This is pain that occurs in the front or inside of your lower leg along the shinbone aka tibia. Runners get this when they change their workout or start a new training. When you begin running longer distances or increase the number of days you run too quickly, you may be prone to this injury. Another pesky cause is flat feet! I recommend the Sole Dog here at Road Runner Sports to prevent this injury.
When will you feel this?
o With activity and lingers after resting initially
4. Achilles tendinitis: Simply put this is the inflammation of the Achilles tendon. This is that beautiful tendon that attaches your calf to the back of the heel. Inflammation of the achilles is not a fun injury! This causes pain and stiffness locally. When does this happen? When you there is repetitive stress to the tendon. Runners who add distance to their routine or have tight calf muscles will be prone to this.
When will you feel this?
o With activity
o Local pain in your heel, tendon and calf
5. Muscle Pull or Strain: These are micro-tears in your muscle. The cause is by overstretching the muscle. If pulled, you may feel a popping sensation when the muscle tears. Ouch! Runners who are getting back into training after a long time or introduce long distances are prone.
Which muscles are pulled often?
6. Ankle Sprain: This is the accidental stretching or tearing of ligaments surrounding the ankle. It often happens when the foot twists or rolls inward. There is no mistake in knowing this injury, there is swelling, bruising and often cannot walk on it. I recommend the Sole dog if you have previously injured your ankle to assess how that injury has impacted your running and walking.
How can I speed up the recovery?
o Acupuncture treatments and Chinese herbs help tremendously in resolving this injury. The sooner you get in, the better your changes. Utilizing acupuncture brings attention to decrease inflammation, heal tendons and muscles associated with the strain, move blood and decrease pain.
7.Plantar fasciitis: Inflammation of the plantar fascia under your foot. This is a thick band of tissue at the bottom of the foot that extends from the heel to the toes. Runners or people with tight calf muscles and a high arch are prone to this injury. This injury can also occur on its own with muscle involvement and no obvious reason.
How can I treat this?
o There are Chinese herbs that directly target the area decreasing pain and reducing the inflammation of the tissue. Along with acupuncture and exercise, plantar fasciitis can be resolved naturally without surgery. I have seen many patients with this and the results to match. The other treatment options Doctors will offer are direct injections of cortisol in your foot or surgery.
8. IT Band Syndrome: This syndrome causes pain and strain on the IT ligament which runs from outside your thigh to the top of the hip and outside of the knee. This happens when the ligament thickens and rubs the knee bone causing inflammation. Runners who have their toes point outwards or pelvis sways side-to-side are prone.
When will you feel it?
o You will feel pain on the out side of your knee
o You will have tightness along your thigh with possible hip involvement
9. Blisters: Fluid-filled sacks on the surface of the skin. They are caused by friction between your shoes/socks with your skin. Runners with poor shoe size, thin socks or excess sweating in feet are prone. Getting the proper fitting of shoes and socks for your training is key!
How to prevent blisters?
o Start using new shoes gradually, incorporate into training every other run.
o Wear socks with double layers
o Applying petroleum jelly to the area’s where you are prone will prevent formation.
10. Temperature-related Injuries or conditions: Your external environment plays a huge role in your running. Excess heat or cold will affect your muscles, skin and organs. Common injuries are sunburn, heat exhaustion, hypothermia, and pulled muscles due to contraction. Believe it or not, fungus love heat and can grow rampant on your skin if untreated leading to athletes foot, ringworms and dry skin.
How can I prevent these injuries or condition?
o Proper attire while running
o Be mindful of the temperature
o Stay hydrated with plenty of electrolytes
o Use sunscreen
o See your Integrative Practitioner to balance your hormones, fungal outbreaks and keep you at optimal running health!
Tips to Prevent Running Injuries
o Listen to your body: Don’t ignore pain or soreness! Consistent pain in muscle or your joint is NOT good.
o Create a running program: Routine is key! Talk with experts to learn how, reach your long-term goals safely.
o Warm-up and stretch: Inadequate stretching or warm-up is the MOST common way to an injury. This is the easiest step, just stretch. Both before and after your training or run. Best stretches to your calf, groin, hamstrings and quads.
o Strength or cross train: Mix it up to develop core strength and prevent overuse repeated motion to one muscle group.
o BE SHOE SMART: This is why we do the screenings here at Road Runner Sports, they will help you will everything. I MEAN EVERYTHING! Support, size, equipment and prevention items. Be a smart runner its possible to run without strain and pain.
o Prepare: hydrate, dress and check weather! There you go! A mindful runner of their environment, both inside and outside environment.
Call my office to learn more on preventing and treatment your sports injuries, we are here to get you back on track or build body endurance!
Did you know that 95% of the serotonin you have is in your GI tract? It’s true! The neurotransmitter in charge of making you feeling happy, calm and relaxed is primarily in your gut! The serotonin in your gut influences the communication between your gut and brain.
This is what we call the Gut-Brain Axis. Brings a whole new meaning to “gut feeling”, “butterflies in your stomach” or “you are what you eat”, right? Not only that, I was fascinated to learn that your small intestine is made of the SAME EXACT tissue as your brain!
Just as your brain sorts through thoughts, your small intestine sorts through nutrients. The small intestine in fact, looks very similar if not exact to the cranial brain. The information that is being provided in research on the Gut-Brain Axis is phenomenal and proves everyday that you are what you eat!