Runners suffer from many aches and pains due to the nature of running. This activity creates high impacts for ankles, knees and hips. This repeated high impact can cause injury and pain. Experienced runners learn about common running pains and what to do about them as they occur. These common pains include foot, knee and ankle pain. There are often simple remedies for each that will reduce or eliminate the pain.
The foot of a runner often suffers from overuse injuries. These are injuries that occur because the foot strikes the ground repeatedly during a run which can cause pain. One example is Plantar Fasciitis, pain at the heel of the foot. This is caused by inflammation of the fascia at the bottom of the foot. The pain will often occur when walking or standing as well as running. Many runners will find relief with a shoe insert to cushion the heel when walking and running. Another common foot pain is Extensor Tendinitis. This is inflammation of the tendons across the top of the foot. This is best treated with a reduction in running and the use of anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen until the inflammation goes away. Runners with foot injuries should also review their running shoes as worn shoes will contribute to foot pain.
Knees are one of the most common pain points for runners. The patella, or knee cap, may not track correctly when running and can become painful. Taping the knee can help as can exercises to strengthen the knee and hip area. This injury can also be caused by pronation or turning of the foot during running. Pain on the outside of the leg around the knee can also be caused by weak hips. Runners can incorporate some strength training exercises that focus on the hips and quadriceps to help eliminate or prevent this type of injury.
Other common ailments are shin splints and Achilles tendonitis. Shin splints cause pain that radiates down the front of the leg below the knee and Achilles tendonitis radiates down the back of the leg. The best way to prevent these problems is with proper stretching before and after a workout. Keeping the muscles limber will prevent them becoming tight and causing pain.
Runners may have pain in their ankles because of the way their feet hit the ground. Pronation, or turning, of the ankles inward or outward will cause stress on joints and muscles which results in pain. This type of pain can be treated with ice and rest when it first occurs. Exercises that target the posterior tibula will also help prevent the problem in the first place.
One other common problem, particularly for distance runners is a stress fracture. This is an actual break in a bone that is caused by the repeated pounding of running. The only cure for this pain is to rest and reduce running until the fracture heals.
Individuals who run regularly will need to understand Common Running Pains and what to do about them.