4 Top Running Injuries
#1 Runner’s knee is caused by poor kneecap movement while running, going up or down stairs or hills, or squatting. Rehab: Muscle imbalances are corrected with soft tissue work, kinesiotaping, and then proper strength work after the pain has been managed. Foamrolling the tight muscles is a must.
#2 Shin splints cause pain in the lower leg, usually the result of increases in the volume or speed of training, and can turn into stress fractures if not managed properly. Rehab: Tight myofascial adhesions are treated, together with managing the running plan to reduce load and gradually increase training without pain.
#3 Ankle sprains occur when the ankle is twisted, creating microtraumatic tears of the ligaments of the ankle. Rehab: Soft tissue work and other physio modalities as needed will reduce the swelling. Then, most important in preventing future sprains, is to enhance proprioception skills (awareness of the joint in space) by improving balance skills so as to increase strength and the brain-ankle connection.
What sorts of injuries do you see in swimmers and cyclists?
Cycling tends to worsen the overuse injury iliotibial band ( ITB) syndrome; when it’s too tight or inflamed, the ITB ligament can cause knee pain. In addition, a cyclist’s sitting position can tighten hip flexors and cause muscle imbalances.
Swimmers are susceptible to the overuse injury known as shoulder impingement syndrome, where the rotator cuff muscles are “pinched” when the shoulder is lifted.
So, how can a runner try to avoid getting injured?
Warming up is the most important thing – and by that I don’t mean stretching. Contrary to what you may have been taught, the static stretching of cold muscles before a run does not reduce injury; in fact, it increases the risk of micro-tears. Also, studies have shown that static stretching before a race has a negative effect on performance. To warm up your muscles, run at an easy pace for at least 10 minutes.
Only gradually increase your running distance or the intensity of your runs (speed and hills, for example). Keep muscles pliable with foam-rolling and regular massages.
Recovery is key to training well. Make sure you have enough sleep, as it is only during deep sleep that we release HGH (Human Growth Hormone) to repair damaged muscle tissue. Finally, if that nagging pain lasts longer than two weeks, go and see a physio!