Running Injuries 101: Understanding the Five Most Common Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Running is a great way to stay in shape and improve your cardiovascular health. However, running injuries are common and can occur if you are not careful. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the five most common running injuries and how to prevent them.


7 Deadly Running Training Errors That Many Runners Make & How You Can Avoid Them So You Can Continue Running The Mileage You Want. More 4 Life Physical Therapy, St. Louis MO

Common Running Injury: Shin Splints and How to Prevent Them

Shin splints are a common injury that is caused by overuse of the muscles in the lower leg. Symptoms include pain and tenderness along the side of the shinbone.

Gradually increase your mileage and wear proper running shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning to prevent shin splints.

Common Running Injury: Runner’s Knee and How to Prevent Them

Runner’s knee is a term used to describe several different conditions that cause pain around the knee joint.

This injury is often caused by overuse, improper form, or muscular imbalances.

Maintaining proper running form and gradually increasing your mileage helps decrease the occurrence of runner's knee.

Additionally, strength training and weight lifting exercises that target the specific muscles in your legs can also help prevent this injury.

Common Running Injury: Plantar Fasciitis/Fasciopathy and How to Prevent Them

Plantar fasciitis or fasciopathy is a condition that causes pain in the heel or arch of the foot.

This condition is often caused by overuse or wearing shoes that do not provide adequate support. As a result, wearing shoes that provide adequate support is important.

Additionally, an active pre-run warm-up and a post-run cooldown must be performed.

An active warm-up for the leg muscles, especially the calf muscles, will help prepare the muscle for running. Then, the stretching of the calf muscles for a cooldown will help decrease the post-exercise stiffness and lactic acid accumulation.

Common Running Injury: Achilles Tendinitis/Tendinopathy and How to Prevent Them

Achilles tendinitis or tendinopathy is a condition that causes pain and stiffness in the Achilles tendon, a structure that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.

The condition is caused by overuse or sudden increases in mileage. As a result, it is important to gradually increase your mileage to prevent this condition.

Similarly to plantar fasciopathy/fasciitis, an active warm-up and a post-activity cool-down are important.

Furthermore, proper footwear and minimizing running on hard surfaces can also help prevent this injury.

Common Running Injury: Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome and How to Prevent Them

The IT band is a long tendinous structure that connects a small hip flexor muscle to the outside of the knee. IT band syndrome is a condition that causes pain on the outside of the knee.

IT band syndrome is often caused by improper form, muscular imbalances, or sudden increases in mileage.

Moreover, this condition typically occurs when the buttock muscles are not being effectively used, so the IT band has to compensate.

This muscle imbalances are addressed by strength training exercises that target muscles, especially the gluteals, that help improve running mechanics.

Lastly, it is again important to slowly progress the mileage or intensity of your running workouts. This allows your legs to properly adapt to the increased demands and stresses of running.

How Can Physical Therapy Help?

A physical therapist can help if you are having pain while running. Physical therapists can specifically help you improve your running form to prevent unnecessary stresses in painful areas.

Additionally, you can increase your speed, distance, and prevent future common running injuries by improving your running form.

Physical therapists can also teach you specific stretches and strengthening exercises to address the muscle imbalances that are present.

Additionally, you can improve your running mechanics and help prevent future injuries by addressing these muscle imbalances.

Lastly, physical therapists can also guide you on a specific shoewear or any other foot support that you can use to prevent pain and allow you to continue running.

Request an Appointment at More 4 Life

If you're looking for a physical therapy clinic in St. Louis that can help you prevent common running injuries or treat any running-related issues, More 4 Life physical therapy can help.

You can contact us at 314-941-3970 to schedule an appointment.

Our team of experienced physical therapists will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs, so you can get back to running as soon as possible.

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