It is important to know what some of the most common running injuries are as well as what causes them. Improper running form is one of the most common causes of running injuries so knowing the proper method and using proper running form is vital. The following information is designed to give you a good idea of some of the most common injuries that can occur while running.
Shin splints are caused by inflammation of the periosteum of the tibia (the membrane covering the outer surface of the tibia), attributable to traction forces of the lower leg muscles. The term is generally applied to any pain felt at the front part of the leg below the knee, although the true shin splint occurs at the inside front of the tibia. It is sometimes accompanied by swelling and pain when the toes are extended downwards.
This is by far the most common of the injuries that occur to runners. It is caused from overuse and affects the knee joints. In some cases, runners who have been at it for long periods of time wind up with horrible knee problems, even resulting in knee replacement surgery in some situations. Like other running injuries, this can be avoided through proper footwear and the right terrain. It is best to run on soft terrain, wearing the correct shoes for your foot and avoid increasing the distance you are running by greater than 10% per week.
Just about every runner has had that cramp in their side. This is one of the most common running injuries but fortunately it is temporary and has little to do with your form. A lack of potassium and hydration can make them more frequent and they typically occur in new runners the most. Fortunately, these irritating cramps can be prevented with a little preparation and care. There are a few factors that may cause the side stitch. Running in colder weather, running downhill and running with a stomach full of food are believed to be three of the main culprits. Also, side stitches can be prevented through strengthening of the abdominal muscles.
While runners are not the only athletes who are apt to get ankles sprains, they are much more prone to them as a result of heavy trauma to the feet and legs. The most common cause of ankle sprains in runners, aside from accidents such as landing on uneven terrain, is improper footwear and ankle support. A new runner should be very careful to stretch before running and should never attempt to push him/herself too much in the beginning.
This is an injury that can become chronic in some runners. It is usually caused by overuse of the tendon and if left untreated could lead to a serious issue as the Achilles tendon could actually rupture. This is most often seen in people who run frequently and for long periods of time. If you notice any pain in the Achilles tendon, which is located just at the back of the heel, below the calf, contact your physician and stop running at once. This is not a condition to take mildly and should be addressed right away.
Of course wearing the wrong shoes can cause anyone to get blisters but this is much more prominent and severe in those who run wearing the wrong shoes. In addition, some new shoes if not properly broken in can cause blisters to occur so always be sure you are wearing the appropriate shoes when running. If you do notice a blister forming, do not ignore it. Either stop running or put some different shoes on. Blisters will only become worse as they continue to be aggravated.
Some running injuries simply occur because of nothing else but too many years of running. However, most of them are avoidable and can be prevented by just taking a few simple steps to make sure you are running properly, wearing the right gear and paying attention to the signals your body sends you.