Common Running Injuries
Here at A Step Up Podiatry, LLC, we treat many patients who run. We know that no one picks up this healthy lifestyle habit to get hurt, but the human body is at risk for injury any time movement is involved. Don’t let this keep you from staying active, though. Most running injuries are effectively treated with nonsurgical methods and—better yet—can be avoided in the first place.
Stress fractures are tiny cracks in bone tissue that develop over time due to repetitive forces. The primary symptom to note is pain that worsens with physical activity and goes away afterwards. Rest is essential for ensuring that continued stress does not cause the injury to become more serious.
Do you wake in the morning and experience sharp, stabbing pain in your heel when you take the first steps of the day? If so, you likely have a case of plantar fasciitis. Much like a stress fracture, this is a common overuse injury and it happens to the thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) that runs along the bottom of your foot.
Your Achilles tendon plays a major role in every step that you take. This connective cord attaches the bottom of your calf muscle to the heel and enables you to move your foot up and down. Tendonitis is a condition where a tendon becomes inflamed, often as the result of a sudden increase in workload, and causes stiffness and pain in the area.
Even if you aren’t a runner, simply being a human puts you at risk of sustaining an ankle sprain at some point in your life. Those who run have an elevated risk because all it takes is misjudging a minor obstacle and a foot could land awkwardly, thereby overstretching the ligaments that hold the ankle joints in place. This leads to pain and swelling and requires rest before going back to normal activities.
Tibial Stress Syndrome
More commonly known as “shin splints,” tibial stress syndrome is a condition that causes sharp pain in the lower leg, right along your tibia (shin bone). Individuals with flat feet have an increased risk of shin splints, but it also happens when physical activity is ramped up too quickly. Rest helps, but stretching exercises are particularly beneficial in preventing the injury.
Running Injury Prevention Tips
As always, it is much better to take some easy steps beforehand to prevent an injury than have to expend the time and energy healing one. With this in mind, the following will prove to be quite helpful:
- Physical assessment. Experts always say to consult a doctor before beginning a workout program. Let us assess your current condition and ensure that you are safe to proceed.
- Proper equipment. Make sure that you purchase shoes that are intended for running and, even better, ones that work for your specific foot structure and running style.
- The right fit. Buy your footwear in the early evening or at night (when your feet are at their largest). Always try both shoes on to see how they fit. Enlist the help of an employee at a store that specializes in running shoes.
- Limber muscles and tendons. Always warm-up and stretch before your run. Heading out “cold” only increases your risk of injury.
- Smart planning. When you first start, you might benefit from a run/walk mix. Slowly progress your efforts (stick with around 10% improvement per week) until you can run comfortably for the entire time.
Running Injury Treatment in Manalapan Township, NJ
Home care can be helpful for many running injuries, but there are times when you need professional care, too. Keep in mind that it is always a smart choice to come in for an accurate diagnosis. Some injuries have similar symptoms, and you want to know that the right issue is being addressed, so you can heal completely and resume your normal activities.
When you need professional treatment for any running injury, contact A Step Up Podiatry, LLC, at our Manalapan Township, NJ office. We are dedicated to providing our local runners with the effective care they need, so schedule your appointment online or give us a call at (732) 446-7136 today!