Common Running Injuries and How to Recover
As I mentioned in a previous post, one of the costs of being a runner is paying for injuries. 36 million people run every year- 40-50% experience at least one injury.
Below is a graphic that outlines some of the most common running injuries, their causes as well as their symptoms.
Running Injuries – Causes and Symptoms
Here is a breakdown of the injuries listed above.
Tightening of piriformis muscle. Symptoms: Pain radiating down back of leg.
Develops when the spinal cord is compressed by bone fragments from a vertebral fracture, a tumor, abscess, ruptured intervertebral disc or other lesion. Symptoms: Back pain, paralysis, height loss, to name a few.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome
Inflamed tissue that surrounds the knee and extends up into the hip. Symptoms: swelling and/or thickening of the knee as well as stinging or tingling.
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
“Runner’s Knee.” Symptoms: Pain under and around knee cap.
Stressed, irrigated, or swollen muscles. Also known as tibial stress syndrome. Symptoms: Throbbing and aching in your shins.
Inflammation of the thick tissue at the bottom of the food. Symptoms: Pain on bottom of heel.
Irritation and inflammation of the large tendon in the back of the ankle. Symptoms: Pain along back of ankle.
Calf Muscle Pull
Calf muscle tears away from Achilles tendon. Symptoms: May hear a “pop” when it happens.
A tear in one or more hamstring muscles. Symptoms: Sudden sharp pain on back of leg, pain when stretching, etc.
Too much stress on muscles in groin. Symptoms: Pain when you bring your legs together.
Ways to Avoid Running Injury
The graphic above listed some awesome ways to avoid running injuries like wearing the right shoes, warming up, stretching, and finishing your run with a short walk. Cooling down after your run is very important. When you’ve finished your run the first thing you want to do is plop down on the couch but you need to make sure you walk and hydrate for a couple minutes before you crash.
If you’re interested, here’s an interesting article from The Guardian on How to Avoid Running Injuries.
Exercise While Recovering from Injuries
This is great topic that I was glad to see included in the above graphic. When you’ve been injured, there are certain things you can do to help nurture your body back to good health. You can’t always afford a physical therapist to help you get your athletic body back to performing like it used to, but below are a few exercise plans I found that will help with running injuries.
Running Injury Recovery Workout Plans
- The Backup Plan – When you’re injured, you may be down. But you don’t have to be out. Here’s how to stay fit—and sane—until you can run again.
- Running Injury Recovery Tips – How to safely return to running.
- Returning to Running After a Stress Fracture – A 7 week schedule.
Recover with a Treadmill
As mentioned in the graphic, walking on an inclined treadmill is also a great way work your muscles and tendons back to perfection. I recommend the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 because it has smooth incline capabilities, it’s affordable, and lightweight.
Use a Stability Ball
Some other methods of injury recovery mentioned were to use a stability ball. Here’s a stability ball leg exercise that could be done to help with stressed leg muscles and tendons.
Switch to an Elliptical
Although the saying that “using an elliptical is just like running” happens to be a myth, the elliptical is much better on your knees than a treadmill is. If you have hip issues, the elliptical is not going to be the best choice. The best choice at the point would be to walk or lightly jog either outside or on a treadmill.
Hopefully you don’t experience any serious injuries as a runner, but if you do or already have, there are ways to recover.
About The Author
Treadmill Review Guru is an expert on all things related to treadmills and running. He is a former cross country runner and soccer player and hopes to soon be able to run a marathon. He loves training on his treadmill whenever he gets the chance. Check out his recommendations and see what he thinks are the best treadmills.