There are few better ways to get exercise and burn calories than by going on a long run. For many, the runner’s high they get while making their way through the streets invigorates their day. So there is nothing worse than an injury that causes them to quit running for a period of time until they heal up.
Running, especially at a high level, is a strenuous activity. It’s easy to get hurt while out on a run. There are precautions we can take, however, to help prevent these running injuries. Check out these tips to stay on your feet and avoid common running injuries.
1. Runner’s Knee
A common injury that runners experience is Runner’s Knee, which is pain around and behind the kneecap. This occurs when extra stress is placed on the patella from constantly pounding pavement and running downhill. There are a few good ways to prevent Runner’s Knee, one being avoiding downhill running all together and sticking to uphill or flat ground. Reduce how far you run, and even rest the knee to help heal the pain. You can try to shorten your stride and land with your knee bent more than normal, which will take some stress off of the joint. If you can run on a softer surface than pavement that will also help prevent the kneecap injury.
2. Plantar Fasciitis
While running, the bottom of your foot really takes a beating. And sometimes this extra stress can manifest itself as Plantar Fasciitis, which is inflammation and tearing of the tissue on the bottom of the foot. One of the easiest ways to avoid this is to check your shoes. If you are wearing old or unsupportive footwear to run, you could be doing damage to the bottom of your foot. Symptoms include stiffness or even a stabbing pain, which will keep any runner off the road. Try running in shoes with additional cushioning to prevent the injury. You can also use a foam roller or roll a tennis ball to stretch the muscle to keep yourself pain free.
3. Shin Splints
The intense stabbing sensation you feel when you get shin splints will cause anyone from thinking twice before running again. Shin splints are caused by inflammation and small tears of the muscles and tendons surrounding the shin bone. Shin splints can also be caused by wearing old or wrong shoes. You may even want to get your foot looked at by a specialist if this is a consistent problem – those with high arches or flat feet could benefit from a shoe designed specifically for their foot.
If you run often, your top layer of skin may tear and leave a nasty blister causing you discomfort. You can start by wearing a good pair of socks and covering the blister or spot that tends to get cut with a bandage or gel.
There are few things worse than being laid up with an injury without the ability to go out and exercise. Injuries happen, but if you take preventative measure you can lower your chances of getting hurt and continue running free.