Run into an injury?

Three quarters of Brits have taken up at least one new form of exercise since lockdown began, and for many people running has been a part of their new fitness regime. Running can be a great way to build your stamina and endurance as well as offering a way to destress and refocus.

However, it isn’t quite as easy as just putting on some trainers you’ve found at the back of the cupboard, pounding the road as fast as you can and hoping for the best. In an ideal world, every step of every mile would be 100% pain free. No pain, fatigue, or DOMS from a previous workout. Unfortunately, the reality is that many people deal with some sort of pain when they’re running which can take away from the enjoyment of it.

Ignoring an injury can lead to an imbalance in the body and cause new injuries to occur. However, if you listen to your body, you can hopefully recognise the symptoms of an impending injury and take care of it before it’s too late.
Of course, we would always suggest seeing a physiotherapist, foot specialist or appropriate health professional for any persistence injury. Here we share a few of the most common problems faced by runners and some tips on how you can try to prevent them.

Common problems

Plantar Fasciitis

This involves inflammation or irritation at the bottom of the foot caused by tearing of the plantar fascia (tissue on the bottom of the foot). Often caused by overtraining and wearing improper footwear while running. The root of the problem lies in the tight and weakened foot muscles causing the heel to take an excessive load.

What can I do?

Use of orthotics/good quality shoes and sufficient stretching before and after a run.

Runner’s Knee

This is caused by irritation of the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap and often recognised by a dull, aching pain around or behind the kneecap. Poor running technique, a lack of core strength and mobility imbalances are often the cause and this condition will typically flare up during or after long runs, or while descending hills and stairs.

What can I do?

First of all you need to take some rest. Focus on some hip and core strengthening exercises and make sure you sufficiently stretch before and after a run, focusing on hip flexors and quads.

Achilles tendinitis

The Achilles is the largest tendon that connects the two major calf muscles to the back of the heel. When placed under too much stress, the tendon tightens and can become irritated. More common with long distance runners.

What can I do?

Wearing the right training footwear fitted with proper insoles is incredibly important. Also make sure you are stretching the calf muscles and icing the affected area.

Shin Splints

This nagging injury can cause you to experience an aching, stabbing sensation in the shins. This condition occurs when the muscles and the tendons covering the shinbone become inflamed.

What can I do?

Ice your shins and keep them in an elevated position post-run. Using shoes that offer better support to the ankle and running on softer grounds will help prevent or reduce the pain.

Back pain

Weakness of the lower back muscles can lead to a loss of control while running, also caused by weakness in the abdominal muscles. These two weaknesses create a global vulnerability in the lower back and the muscles cannot control movement, leading to stress on the spine.

What can I do?

Try to stretch your hips flexors, glutes, hamstrings and calves on a regular basis. Focus on strengthening your hamstrings and glutes, so they offer more support for the spine.

Whatever your injury, the most important thing to remember is to listen to your body. Make sure you don’t continue to run if you’re in pain and only start running again once you’ve recovered sufficiently. We hope this guide has been helpful and remember, it’s important to seek the advice of a physiotherapist, foot specialist or appropriate health professional for any persistent injury.


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