Did you know 40% of running injuries are knee injuries? Many runners deal with some type of nagging pain or discomfort. If ignored, these pains can lead to full-blown injuries. Sometimes taking a little time off may get you back on the road and help you avoid a significant injury.
This is an irritation of the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap. Most people notice pain when going up or down stairs, sitting with the knee bent for long periods and squatting. Biomechanical factors can put an extra load on the knee. Shortening your stride while running, and landing with the knee slightly bent, can help take some of the load off the knee joint.
This is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the large tendon that connects the two major calf muscles to the back of the heel. An Achilles tendon problem can result from a dramatic increase in training. Don’t try to run through it. Back off on your running for a few days to a week, icing several times a day. Exercises to strengthen the calf muscle may help.
The hamstrings run down the back of our thighs. Hamstring issues arise when these muscles are weak due to being too short or too long – basically a muscle imbalance. Many runners’ quadriceps over- power their hamstrings, which can cause injury. A sudden onset of strong pain or bruising could be a true pull and should be evaluated by a Sports Medicine specialist as soon as possible.
A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone, often found in the shin or foot of runners. This can be caused by overtraining. The pain is most often felt in the tibia, metatarsals (in the feet), and calcaneus (heels).
Shin splints often occur from a new workout routine which can result in pain in the front or inside of the lower leg (shin), along the tibia. People with flat feet are most likely to develop shin splints.
This results from small tears or inflammation of the ligaments and tendons that run from your heel to your toes and may feel like a dull ache or bruise along the arch or bottom of the heel. Runners with very high or low arches are very vulnerable to this problem.
When in doubt, check it out. If you are concerned about a sudden pain associated with running, or dealing with a nagging condition, see a sports medicine specialist to see how it should be treated.