The Most Common Running Injuries & How to Prevent Them
One of the most popular outdoor activities in London is running. With a variety of spacious parks and regular events to choose from, it’s no surprise that running is becoming increasingly popular in the city.
London hosts a variety of running events. The weekly 5k Parkrun is held at various locations across London. It’s free to take part and the distance won’t cause too much stress on your joints. There are also various half marathons held throughout the year, such as the Hackney half. The London marathon is on once a year and is equivalent to doing 8 and a half Parkruns in one sitting, so if you’re up for a challenge then this is the event for you, but I would advise getting a gait analysis and appropriate footwear to minimise injury.
Running on a road or track (hard), grass (bumpy) or a treadmill (flat) places stress on the body due to high-impact and repetitive movements. Running repeatedly, especially for extended periods, causes significant stress on the ankle, shin and knee joints. Regardless of your experience levels, overtime painful injuries may develop.
Reoccurring knee injuries from running may lead to permanent long-term damage
Here are the most common running injuries:
Runner’s Knee: Knee pain is the most common reason why runners come to see me for treatments. The kneecap (patella) becomes inflamed from friction and stress, causing pain either at the front, back or around the knee joint. To treat this condition, apply ice (wrapped in a towel) to the area for 15-20 minutes and rest until the pain goes away. Performing light quadricep stretches for 30 seconds 5 times a day, will lengthen the tendons to ease pressure around the knee capsule.
Achilles Tendonitis: This is another reason why runners come to see me. Repetitive impact may cause inflammation and pain around the Achilles tendon (back of the heel/ankle). The pain can feel continuous and dull or sharp. Massage, foam-rolling, stretching and resting will help reduce the pain.
Shin Splints: Stress related pain occurs at the front of the shin (tibia) bone. This type of injury varies from dull to sharp pain. Runners tend to continue running if the pain is dull. This will make the injury worse, and eventually it may develop into a chronic sharp pain. Rest until the pain has gone.
Plantar Fasciitis: This impact injury causes inflammation and pain on the heel and sole of the foot (plantar fascia). Even walking is painful with this injury.
Strains & Sprains: Runners usually experience strains in the calf or hamstring muscles and sprains in the ankle ligaments. You will feel a sharp pain in the area, especially when moving. Apply ice to the area for 15-20 minutes and rest. Do NOT stretch the area, because stretching torn tissue will tear it even more!
From previous running experience, here are a few general tips:
Wear appropriate footwear to reduce the risk of injury. Go to a running shop, get a gait analysis and get the correct footwear for the surface type you are running on.
Warm up, cool down and stretch regularly.
Listen to your body and rest if you are sore, tired or injured.
Build a strong core and lower body.
If you suffer with any of the injuries mentioned above, please contact me to book in an assessment and treatment.