Running is probably the greatest gift you could give to your body, and what’s even better, it doesn’t cost a lot to be a dedicated runner. You just need discipline, motivation and a quality pair of running shoes, which isn’t a big expense, but more of an investment that will be beneficial in the long run. Yet, running often means getting injured, which is something that’s not completely avoidable, unfortunately. Therefore, here’s a list of most common running injuries and how to prevent them:
1. Shin splint
This injury is more common among people with flat feet, and it happens when inside or in the front of the lower leg along the shinbone. Also, this type of injury is more frequent among those who change their workout regimes, such as running long distances. In order to determine the injury, it’s necessary to perform an X-ray. The best way to prevent this is to mind the way you run, and of course, if you ever plan to change your exercises, make sure to do it gradually.
2. Muscle strain
Probably the most frequent type of injury, and it happens to due to pulling a muscle. You’ll often hear the muscle pop during the run and of course, you’ll feel muscle cramps while running, and muscles that are most affected are hamstrings, calf, groin, and quadriceps. The best way to treat is injury is the RICE method, meaning rest, ice, compression and elevation. Luckily, many seasoned runners experience this type of injury, so if you plan to dedicate some serious time to run, make sure to prepare yourself, so you won’t be surprised if and when it happens.
3. IT band syndrome
IT (iliotibial) band syndrome causes a lot of pain to the outer part of the knee. Basically, the IT band is a ligament along the thigh, starting from the top of the hip all the way to the outside of one’s knee. The syndrome happens when the ligament gets thicker and rubs the knee bone, which then causes inflammation and pain. The safes way to treat is rest (ceasing exercises altogether), icing the injured area and stretching before the exercises.
4. Ankle sprain
Spraining one’s ankle is such a frequent injury that doesn’t have to be associated with running. Still, runners are often those who encounter ankle sprains, which happen when ligaments surrounding the ankle get stretched or torn. All of that is mostly because of the foot that rolls inward or gets twisted. In order to prevent it, it’s best to be careful the way you run and make sure to run on even terrains. Again the RICE method is the quickest way to recover from an ankle sprain.
Some people may not consider blisters an injury at all, but they can be quite difficult to get rid of, especially to those who are unaccustomed to them. Blisters are the sacks on the surface of the skin filled with fluid, that happen due to the friction between the skin on your feet and the socks.
If you’re suffering from blisters, it’s important to gradually introduce new running footwear, so your feet will be able to get used to them. Also, don’t forget to wear socks with double-layer, and also make sure to apply the petroleum jelly and other remedies to areas that are more prone to blisters.
Running injuries happen simply to running itself. Even the best runners out there are prone to them, so there’s no definitive way to avoid them. Yet, in order to keep yourself safe, it’s important to run slowly and choose your running surfaces wisely. Don’t go running in abandoned and unsafe areas — even if you love to run, it’s better to run on a treadmill than to risk an injury. Finally, in case you get injured, make sure to seek medical help, so you’ll be able to prevent further pain and start your treatment on time.