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How to Avoid the Five Most Common Running Injuries

Doing these exercises can reduce your risk of shin splints, runner’s knee, IT band syndrome, Achilles Tendinitis and plantar fasciitis.

Running injuries are something we commonly see in our office. Injuries like achilles tendinitis, shin splints and runner’s knee aren’t as obvious as a broken bone, but they are still painful, frustrating, and can take a long time to heal.

People commonly ask: Should I stop running? Not if you do it as part of a balanced, total body fitness routine. Running is great cardiovascular exercise. It promotes weight loss, reduces morbidity and mortality risk, and relieves stress. The joint loading that occurs during running helps lubricate cartilage, and enhances the metabolic activity of both cartilage and bone.

But overdoing it—running too much or too fast without sufficient training—can result in injury. [See also: Play It Safe.] It’s important that you do more than just running; total body fitness requires a balance of cardio and strength training. The five most common injuries that sideline runners are Shin Splints, Runner’s Knee, IT Band Syndrome, Achilles Tendinitis, and Plantar Fasciitis. Each of them can be avoided by adding some simple strength training exercises to your fitness routine.

Here are our recommendations for specific exercises you can do to reduce your risk of running injuries:

Shin Splints
Runner's Knee
IT Band Syndrome
Achilles Tendinitis
Plantar Fasciitis

Despite the best preventative measures like those proposed above, avid runners will still encounter injuries. In fact, it’s estimated that a runner will sustain one injury for every 100 hours of training! Most running injuries respond well to the R.I.C.E. treatment: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. These simple steps can relieve pain, reduce swelling, and protect the injury from further aggravation.

But if you don’t see any improvement after five to seven days of R.I.C.E, or if you are experiencing severe pain, swelling and/or weakness at the injury site, it’s time to see one of the physicians at OrthoEdge. We can diagnose, treat, and most importantly help you determine the cause of your injury so that it doesn’t happen again.