Running is an excellent way to stay fit, lose weight, relieve stress and more. Common running injuries include blisters, patellofemoral pain syndrome, muscle pulls, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis and sprains. You can help prevent running injuries by warming up and stretching, wearing the right gear and working with a family doctor or sports medicine physician.
Running has become one of the most popular ways to improve and maintain fitness, and to stay in shape. In fact, more than 40 million North Americans run on a regular basis.
Although running is a great way to stay active, many runners have to deal with an injury at some point.
More than 80% of running injuries are caused by repetitive stress, but sudden injuries like a sprained ankle or a torn muscle can also happen.
If you are looking for information on common running injuries and treatment options, you may want to consider the following specialists:
Physiotherapy is treatment to restore, maintain, and make the most of a patient's mobility, function, and well-being. Physiotherapy helps through physical rehabilitation of muscles and tendons and joints, injury prevention, and health and fitness. Physiotherapists are also great at getting you involved in your own recovery, often assigning you specialized exercises to do daily at home.
Chiropractors can treat back pain, neck pain, arthritis, headaches, physical injuries and more. They are spine, muscle and nervous system experts who specialize in assessing injuries and pain, diagnosing, treating and developing care plans to keep you moving.
Massage therapists assess and treat soft tissues and joints of the body. Their work helps improve and maintain good health and treat pain from injuries and physical disorders. Massage therapy can promote blood flow to muscles that are fatigued or that have suffered an injury.
Blisters: These are often caused by friction and can be prevented by wearing properly fitted shoes and moisture-wicking socks. Treatment involves keeping the area clean, applying blister pads or bandages, and allowing the blister to heal.
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: This refers to pain around the kneecap and can be caused by various factors such as overuse, muscle imbalances, or improper running technique. Treatment may include rest, physical therapy to strengthen surrounding muscles, and using orthotics or supportive knee braces.
Muscle pulls/strains: These occur when the muscles are overstretched or torn. Treatment involves rest, applying ice to reduce swelling, compression with bandages or wraps, and gradually reintroducing exercise through rehabilitation exercises.
Stress fractures: Repetitive stress on the bones can lead to small cracks known as stress fractures. Rest is crucial for healing, and in some cases, immobilization with a cast or boot may be necessary. Physical therapy can aid in recovery and prevent future fractures.
Plantar Fasciitis: This is inflammation of the plantar fascia, a ligament that supports the arch of the foot. Treatment may include rest, stretching exercises, orthotics or supportive footwear, and physical therapy to address underlying causes and promote healing.
Sprains: Ligament sprains can occur in the ankles or other joints due to twisting or rolling movements. Initial treatment involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Severe sprains may require immobilization, and physical therapy can aid in rehabilitation and strengthening.
To help prevent running injuries, it's important to warm up before each run, perform dynamic stretches, wear proper footwear with adequate support, and gradually increase mileage and intensity. Working with a family doctor or sports medicine physician can provide guidance on injury prevention strategies specific to your individual needs.
In the event of an injury, seeking treatment from healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, or massage therapists can help assess, diagnose, and provide appropriate care and rehabilitation to aid in recovery. They can offer specialized exercises, manual therapy, and other treatments to address the specific injury and promote healing.
Remember to listen to your body, allow for proper rest and recovery, and seek medical attention if necessary to ensure a safe and enjoyable running experience.