The 10 Most Common Running Related Injuries
The weather is warm, the sun is out, and you’ve hit the ground running…literally. Running is great exercise, but if you are starting to feel pain associated with it, you should take a pause and read on.
Ignoring any type of pain is never recommended, especially if you continue to experience that pain while continuing the activity that triggered it. Foot and ankle pain isn’t something to ignore as it can lead to bigger problems in the future. Running related injuries are no joke.
According to a study released by the National Institute of Health, 74 percent of runners experience a moderate or severe injury each year. So if you’re among this group, you’re not alone.
The most common running-related foot injures include:
- Black Toenails: Black, unsightly and painful toenails are often a result of poorly fitted running shoes that are too big or small, or become too stretched out. Every time your foot strikes the ground, your foot slides forward in your shoe, and in shoes that don’t fit well, they hit the top of your shoes. This might cause blood to pool under your nails, resulting in a black toenail. You should have your shoes fitted at a store and replace them every 300-500 miles.
- Blisters and Calluses: Not only are blisters and calluses painful, it’s a sign that your shoes are not fitting properly. There might also be too much pressure being applied to a certain area of your foot. Other than ill-fitting shoes, an unbalanced gait could be the problem. If you’re serious about running and avoiding injury, a gait analysis is in order.
- Bunions: This bony protrusion at the base of the big toe can develop in runners who have an abnormal gait caused by flat feet. The big toe can start shifting inward, causing your big toe to overlap your second and third toe, leaving you in extreme pain. Bunions are also genetic. There are custom orthotics that can help alleviate pain when wearing shoes. Wider toe boxes can also prevent pain when running.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, which is when the ligament on the bottom of your foot that connects your heel to your toes becomes stretched or tears. This typically affects runners who overexert themselves, but stretching and warming up before hitting the pavement can help prevent this from happening. If pain becomes a nuisance, there are several treatments that a podiatrist can recommend.
- Heel Fissures: Dry and cracked feet can lead to bigger problems like heel fissures, which is when the cracks become deep enough to start bleeding or become infected. Keeping your feet exfoliated and moisturized can prevent this.
- Achilles Tendonitis: Swelling of the tendon that connects your calf muscle to the back of your heel is referred to as Achilles tendonitis. Runners are more susceptible to this condition. Stretching this muscle can help loosen it up prior to your run.
- Shin Splints: This is one of the most common injuries runners experience, which often occurs after long runs, strenuous activities or new exercise routines. Shin splints are characterized by pain on the side of your legs, above the ankles. It is an inflammatory condition of the front of the tibia bone. Don’t try to ‘run through the pain’. You may worsen the injury.
- Stress Fractures: Hairline cracks in your bones are also called stress fractures, which could worsen if left untreated. The staccato impact of your feet on the pavement over time can lead to these tiny fractures. Later, you could break a bone doing a regular activity because the bone has been significantly weakened. When you feel pain, stop your run and have it checked out by a medical professional.
- Ankle Sprains: Stretching or tearing of the ligaments in your ankles is also known as ankle sprains. While this type of injury is very common, it should be taken seriously. Be sure the injury is rested until healed before you continue with your exercise regimen. Continuing to use the injured ligaments could lead to a severe tear and much longer recovery.
- Neuroma: If you have a neuroma in the foot, it means you have an enlarged nerve, which typically occurs between the third and fourth toes. Activities that put an excessive amount of pressure on the ball of your foot and your shoes being too small, resulting in your toes being crowded together can result in this condition. If you have a neuroma, you’ll most likely feel a sharp, burning pain on the bottom of the foot near the toes.
If you are experiencing any of these running-related injuries, it’s important that you contact a podiatrist to properly treat your injury before it develops into something worse.
The podiatry experts at Triad Foot can help you get back on your feet and back to your favorite activities. Click here to request an appointment.
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