Running Injuries: 3 Common Injuries Affecting Runners

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Running is a common exercise and activity for many people. It’s estimated that more than 40 million Americans utilize running in their exercise and health plans on a regular basis. More than 80% of running injuries are caused by repetitive stress, but sudden injuries, like an ankle sprain or pulled muscle are also very common.

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Common Running Injuries & Treatments

  • Plantar Fasciitis: The plantar fascia is a string-like tissue that runs along the arch of the foot. With plantar fasciitis, the tissue is stretched and even torn, resulting in pain when standing or walking. Various therapies can be utilized, like myofascial release and hands-on joint mobilization can reduce pain, stress and prevent scar tissue formation. Orthotic devices, taping, splints and shoes may be recommended. Referrals to a podiatrist may be necessary to ensure a correct fit. 

  • Achilles Tendonitis: Achilles Tendonitis is characterized by pain and swelling in the achilles tendon where it attaches to the heel bone. Pain and swelling slightly above the attachment area may also be present. Symptoms worsen with weight-bearing activities, however, sudden pain and swelling is not uncommon. Achilles tendonitis accounts for roughly 10% of all running injuries, and is also common in jumping activities, such as basketball or volleyball. Hands-on myofascial release of the calf muscle and Achilles tendon help prevent scar formation. Tension-developing exercises can restore pain-free calf flexibility. Ultrasound, ice, electrical stimulation, taping and orthotics may also be recommended.

  • Shin Splints: Pain, swelling, warmth and tenderness along the inside of the shin bones are common indicators of shin splints. This is often sports or running-related, and is caused by stretching of the muscle attachments along the shin bone. Flat feet can increase the traction force. Long strides or forcible striking of the heel are also frequent causes of shin splints. Rest is the most common treatment for shin splints, as if they are left untreated, can cause stress fractures. Localized massage, calf stretches, ice and ultrasound therapy can reduce resistance, strengthen the stressed muscles and reduce inflammation. A therapist will need to observe progress to recommend a gradual return to sports and activity.

Crafted Physical Therapy is Here to Help Runners

While the above injuries are common in runners, they are not the only injuries runners are susceptible to. If any kind of pain is felt during running, it’s best to reach out to a physical therapist to diagnose and treat. Physical therapists can also recommend orthotic devices and education on taping and wrapping certain areas to provide support and reduce inflammation. If you’ve experienced any of these injuries or are noticing pain while running, don’t hesitate to reach out to the talented team at Crafted Physical Therapy. Contact us online or by phone at (720) 204-4567.