A Guide to Preventing & Treating 5 Common Running Injuries:
- Stress Fractures. The more the miles, the greater the stress. An incomplete break in the bone caused by overuse is known as a stress fracture. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and redness. Up to 15% of all sports injuries are stress fractures. A podiatrist needs to perform an examination and look at X-rays of the injury in order to diagnose a stress fracture.
- Shin Splints. The most common type of shin splints happen on the inside of the legs. These medical shin splints are a running injury that results from a biomechanical flaw in your foot (which can be made worse by a shoe that doesn’t offer enough support) and/or overtraining. You should switch to a thicker shoe, and stretch out your calf muscles to avoid these injuries.
- Plantar Fasciitis. This is the most common cause of heel pain on the bottom of the heel, and is an inflammation of a thick, fibrous ligament in the arch of the foot called plantar fascia. To treat, you should do calf muscle stretching, over the counter arch supports, orthotics, proper shoe wear and taking anti-inflammatory medications.
- Achilles Tendonitis. Everyone who is active can suffer from Achilles tendonitis, a common overuse injury and inflammation of the tendon. Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include mild pain after exercise or running that gradually worsens a noticeable sense of sluggishness in your leg, and pain along the tendon during or a few hours after running. To treat, usually rest, or switching sports to an exercise such as swimming, or taking an anti-inflammatory medication.
- Ankle Sprains. Occurs by stretching or tearing one or more ligaments on either or both sides of the ankle. Ankle injuries that are serious enough to cause disabling pain should be treated by a podiatrist. Treatment includes rest, elevation, compression and ice. More serious sprains may call for crutches or other walking devices.