Common injuries to runners and how to avoid them

Many beginners and even experienced runners face serious pain and trauma daily. Learn about 12 the most common types of injuries and ways to avoid them.

Author: Laura Schwencherl

It's not a secret for anyone that running involves a high risk of injury. According to some reports, up to 80% of runners each year face this or that trauma. (When you enroll in an athletics section, you are not warned about this.) Most of the injuries are due to overload – the effect of repeated loads for a long period of time. A sharp increase in mileage can also be considered a serious risk factor, both for beginners and veterans. I will tell you about 12 most common diseases, pursuing fans to wind up miles on treadmills and city streets, and I will recommend some ways to ease pain.

Moderate pain in the patellar region (patella) is a sure sign of knee joint chondromalacia, the scientific name for the "runner's knee". (Disease so often strikes runners that it was named in their honor.)

Repeated shock loads when running on asphalt roads, running down the slope, muscle imbalance and weak muscles of the thigh increase the load on the knee cap. To avoid problems, you should run along a flat terrain or uphill, choosing, if possible, paths and paths with a soft covering. To combat pain, many experts recommend cutting the mileage, using elastic bandage and / or knee pads and taking anti-inflammatory drugs.

2. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon (tendinitis)

Inflammation and swelling of the Achilles tendon that connects the heel bone to the muscles of the lower leg can result from a combination of factors: a sharp increase in distance, inappropriate footwear, tension of the calf muscles and even congenital or acquired flat feet.

To prevent this unpleasant syndrome, run in quality athletic shoes and be sure to perform stretching exercises of calf muscles after training. In addition, rest after running up the slope, which creates an additional load on the Achilles. Anti-inflammatory drugs, stretching and using the "KLOP" strategy (compression, ice, rest and raised leg position) are the best ways to take the path of recovery.

3. Inflammation of plantar aponeurosis (plantar fasciitis)

This disease with a hard-to-pronounce name develops against the backdrop of inflammation, stretching or rupture of the plantar aponeurosis – a powerful connective tissue structure on the plantar surface of the foot. Among the risk factors are too strong impacts on the running surface, uncomfortable, worn out or simply poor-quality shoes. Result: marked stiffness of the foot or stitching pain in the area of ​​the arch or heel.

Shoes and insole with improved cushioning properties, stretch exercises for plantar aponeurosis and self-massage of feet by rolling tennis balls. Even a simple break in training can help ease pain. If the problem persists, doctors recommend using custom-made orthopedic shoes and insole. In some cases, injections of corticosteroids into the heel accelerate recovery and help return to the distance.

If this article is read by a runner who has never encountered this agonizing pain in the shin area, please share your secret! One of the most unpleasant injuries, the split shin is the result of inflammation of the muscles and tendons that cover the tibia.

If you find yourself experiencing the symptoms of this damage, the first thing to do is to stop the pain. To reduce puffiness, try to put ice on 15-20 minutes and keep your legs in a raised position. With the prevention of a little more difficult, but scientists have found that shock absorbing insoles that support the arch of the foot, can be an effective solution. Make sure that your sneakers are perfect for you, and try to run on soft surfaces as far as possible. Avoid the hills, which create an additional strain on the muscles of the lower leg.

5. Syndrome of the iliac-tibial tract (SPBT)

Steyers, take note: with this injury, jokes are bad. SPBT is accompanied by pain in the external area of ​​the knee, just above the joint. The cause of pain is inflammation of the iliac-tibial tract – a massive tendon that extends through the entire hip from the pelvic bones to the tibia (bone between the knee and heel). Typical causes of the problem are an increase in running distance, running down the slope and weak muscles of the hip area.

To solve the problem, surround these muscles with your love. Self-massage and special stretching exercises will help to remove inflammation and stop pain.

In non-contact sports, bone fractures also occur. Stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bones. Their cause, as a rule, becomes an excessive load, repeated from day to day.

Take time to relax. A short break is needed, during which, as a rule, you have to use crutches and attend physiotherapy sessions. In severe cases, the X-ray shows that it's time to lie under the surgeon's knife. To avoid complications, switch to other types of physical activity, wear quality shoes and get enough calcium with the food, which is known to strengthen the bone tissue.

The disease is often called the "knee of the jumper," but this trauma is often found in long-distance runners. Tendonitis of the patella develops against a background of overload, which leads to microfractures of the tendon of the patella (tendon connecting the knee cap with the tibia). Excessive pronation of the foot, overtraining and repeated running uphill are the main causes of the disease.

To reduce the risk of developing patella tendinitis, strengthen the musculature of the hamstrings and quadriceps (in the gym and at home!) And apply ice to the knee when pain occurs. Also doctors recommend physical therapy to relieve pain and improve the strength of the tendon.

When the ankle is turned inward or outward, stretching the tendons, the ligaments of the ankle joint may be injured, and this causes severe pain. Curbs, potholes, tree branches (or just an unsuccessful landing) are just a small part of the pepperous possible causes of injury.

At first, the rate of recovery may be low. Immediately after stretching, the ligaments need complete rest, the duration of forced rest depends on the severity of the damage, and therefore consult a doctor who will draw up a detailed therapy plan. Doctors can recommend the use of clamps and bandages for the ankle, and when you return to training, use elastic bandage to prevent relapse. Many experts recommend performing exercises that require the ability to balance (like squats on one leg) to strengthen the muscles around the ankle.

With overstrain of muscles, a rupture of ligaments and tendons can occur, which will lead to stretching of the muscle. (Stretching of the lower leg and thigh muscles is common among runners!). Stress-overload, stiffness and neglect of warm-up are possible causes.

Adequate warm-up, hitch up and dynamic stretching before training are the best ways to avoid annoying stretching. If the pain does not subside, rest (up to five days!), Doing gentle stretching exercises and applying ice to the muscle.

More annoying than younger brothers, calluses can appear when we least expect them. When the heel rubs against the shoes, the top layer of the skin can be ripped off with the formation of bubbles between the layers of the skin.

Prevent or puncture them. The best method of combating calluses is prevention. Be sure to make sure that your shoes (literally) fit, and put on a pair of quality synthetic socks. If calluses continue to appear, lubricate them with special medicine.

In most cases, there is no escape from this. When the skin rubs against the skin (in this case we mean the hips), the skin becomes angry and irritated.

Try not to wear short shorts; put on long shorts or capris to avoid rubbing the skin. If you are still in doubt, there are special gels for fighting rubbing.

Ever encounter this terrible pain in the abdomen? It is often called abdominal pain associated with physical exertion. Stitching pains in the side can really sneak up unnoticed – hitting about 70% of runners. Many experts believe that the cause of pain is a spasm of the diaphragm against the background of overload, and contribute to this may be a wrong posture while running.

Remember that the back should be kept straight; this will help prevent stitching pain in the side. If pain occurs, try bending forward and straining your torso muscles, or breathing with tightly compressed lips to reduce pain.

Do you try to overcome the distance at any cost? (Yes, most runners do this). Remember, there is a boundary between persistence in achieving the goal and unhealthy risk – and only you (and your doctor) will know when you cross this line. To minimize pain, take note of the general recommendations that will help you to run without risk to health:

Adhere to the rule 10%. Do not raise the mileage by more than 10% per week. A sharp increase in distance is the main cause of stress-overload, which leads to injuries!

Perform a warm-up and a hitch. Are you going to go for a good run? Do not forget to include in the training program an adequate warm-up and a hitch so that your body can easily get into work and return to normal rhythm after running. This simple trick helps you to keep traumas from a distance.

Improve the technique. Smooth and efficient is the key to success. Bad technique not only reduces efficiency, but can lead to unnecessary pain. Be sure to use the correct running technique to prevent injuries, especially the split shin and back pain. Muscular imbalances can also lead to problems on the roads, and therefore will not hurt the advice of an experienced chiropractor who can identify and eliminate any biomechanical problems.

Change sneakers. Write down what "run" your sports shoes have, and change it about every 1000 kilometers, or even earlier! It is also worthwhile to drop into a specialized store selling shoes for runners, where you will be able to pick up the perfect pair.

Stay on an even surface. Running on ruts and hummocks is an extra stress for your ligaments. And although running off-road with varying tempo seems like an exciting thing, an uneven surface increases the risk of an ankle dislocation – so be careful on forest trails.

Strength training. Do not neglect dumbbells, even if your main priority is running. Strength training improves the overall functional readiness, which helps the muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons to withstand the inherent shock loads. Pay special attention to strengthening the muscles of the hip area, because the weak muscles of the hip lead to a high risk of injury.

Know your limit. Overtraining can be the cause of stress-overloads and injuries. Be sure to rest at least one day a week and alternate fartleki and races uphill with simple restless jogs. Do not forget to plan the rest days in advance. You (and your body) deserve it!

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