Apart from falls, most common running injuries are due to overuse, overtraining, or flaws in biomechanical body structure or running technique. Some of the most common running injuries affect the feet, ankles, knees or hips, often due to overuse or strain. Fortunately, most problems last only a few weeks, but studies show that 50% of runners suffer injuries each year.
In the video below Dr. Jordan D. Metzl from New York, an Ironman competitor himself, talks about the most frequently seen running injuries.
Tendonitis is one of the most common injuries seen in runners, it can affect any tendon but the most common area affected is the arch of the foot or plantar fasciitis , characterized primarily by sharp stinging pains at the base of the heel of the foot.
Damage to the ankle, such as a sprained ankle, or in more extreme cases, a tear or rupture of the Achilles tendon. Sprained ankles are prevalent especially in trail running.
Shin splints is the common term for pain in the front or inner side of the lower leg. As one of the most frequent injuries, it accounts for approximately 13% of all reported running injuries; particularly for newer runners and is a result of tiny tears in the front lower leg muscles away from the shin bone.
Stress fractures can occur as a result of the repetitive loading that occurs as the body weight is transferred from one leg to the other during the running cycle. If the training sessions are too close together, there is not enough time for healing and the bone weakens over time. A full fracture can result when the weak bone is stressed. However, with enough rest between training sessions, the body has time to reinforce the tiny cracks in the bone and make it solid again.
As you recover, maintain your fitness level by practicing low-impact forms of exercise to minimize the forces on the injured area. However some form or exercise will be necessary if you are going to maintain your fitness levels as you recover.
Analysis of your running stride, strength training, proper shoe selection and fit, as well as a well guided training plan that slowly increases the length of running time will help to minimize the chance of the suffering from any of the above issues.
But if you find yourself suffering with one of these injuries that isn’t getting better, call the Atlanta Sport Injury Specialists. Their team of athlete doctors and therapists will get you back to your goal mileage in no time.