Common Running Injuries
Do you think you may have a running
Following are basic descriptions of common running ailments
for the purpose of offering you information. These
descriptions are not intended to diagnose your pain.
Rather, they are intended solely as a resource from which
you may guide yourself toward a better understanding of a
particular malady. We have included links to other such
resources, as well, because determining what ails you is a
lot like voting for President or choosing which kind of ice
cream to be your favorite: you should not do it until you
have taken in a variety of relevant, appropriate substance.
Not to mention, also like voting for President or choosing
your favorite ice cream, Movin Shoes should not be your only
source of information.
Other links to
running ailment information:
Achilles Tendinitis describes an inflammation of the
Achilles tendon. This injury is among the most common to
runners. Unfortunately, it is also among the most
troublesome injuries to treat. A tendon is the band of
dense, tough, fibrous tissue that connects muscle to bone or
skeletal structure. The Achilles tendon joins the strong
lower leg muscles to the heel. If not addressed immediately
in the beginning of the inflammation stage, a tear or
rupture may result. An early sign may be a stiff or painful
sensation upon awakening in the morning or after long
periods of sitting. Pain may also be felt at the beginning
of a run, but then may decrease after a period of time.
The cause of inflammation in the Achilles tendon may occur
in several ways. Most common ways include poorly stretched
calf muscles, sudden changes in training, such as
significantly higher mileage, speed training or hills.
Some of the more common reasons include trauma to the
tendon, poor flexibility of the calf-muscles. Also, because
of the nature of the movement, overpronators or supinators
may be more inclined to this injury.
Treatment for Achilles tendinitis should include a
correction of any issues mentioned in the preceding
paragraph, decrease mileage or complete rest, avoid hills or
speed work until inflammation recedes significantly, and/or
ice after each run.
cause of pain in the heel or along the bottom of the foot is
plantar fasciitis. The pain is often felt while walking or
standing for long periods of time or immediately upon
awakening when ligaments are most likely to be tight and
unstretched. Although it can occur in both feet, it is not
uncommon to be felt in only one foot.
The plantar fascia is a
ligament ( a band of fibrous tissue connecting bones or
holding organs in place) that links the heel bone with the
toes. This ligament is one of the main support structures
for the arch of the foot. If strained, the plantar fascia
may weaken, swell and become inflamed. Repeated strain may
cause tiny tears in the ligament causing pain and further
inflammation. Repeated strain on the plantar fascia is more
likely in overpronators, those with flat feet or unusually
high arches, in persons who may be overweight, or in those
whose calf muscles or Achilles tendons are too tight.
Treatment for Plantar
Fasciitis may include cutting back on activities that causes
pain in the heel or bottom of the foot. Avoid running or
walking on hard surfaces such as concrete. Ice the area of
pain. Stretch the calf muscles for short periods of time
several times a day, as well stretching (contracting) the
toes often. Stretching and contracting calf muscles and
toes will keep the plantar fascia stretched and supple from
the heel all along the bottom of the foot.
Often, runners use the term shin splints
in as a catchall, describing a variety of lower leg injuries
not necessarily the same. In most cases, however, it refers
to tendinitis of the front side of the lower portion of the
leg. Shin splints may be characterized by a tender, aching
sensation along the inside of the shin. Less often, though
still possible, the pain may reveal itself along the outside
of the shin. The pain may either reach along a relatively
shortened length of shin or travel the entire length of the
lower leg, between the knee and ankle.
The pain is due to muscles along the front portion of the
lower leg becoming inflamed. This occurs frequently in
beginning runners or those returning to a running regimen
after a substantial inactive period, for example adults
returning to a fitness routine or younger, seasonal runners
like those in High School athletics – e.g. Cross Country or
Track & Field. Oftentimes, these groups share common
mistakes: increasing mileage too quickly and using muscles
in ways previously not used. Other considerations may
include running too often on very hard surfaces such as
concrete, and, due to the nature of the movement,
overpronators are more likely to receive this injury.
Initial treatment for shin splints should be to ice the
inflamed area for a minimum of 15-minutes, three times per
day, as well as immediately after running. Use an
anti-inflammatory to reduce the inflammation. Generally,
one may see significant recovery within two to three weeks.