Ever wondered why professional runners work closely with qualified trainers and physical therapists? Most people fail to appreciate the importance of the collaboration of these professionals in a runner’s career. Or perhaps, the glory that covers runners on the big stage hides their sweat, hours of hard work, and injuries sustained in the past. In truth, trainers and physiotherapists assist runners with injury prevention and recovery to help keep them on the track.
Runners put in a lot of work and log up to thousands of miles every year. Given the nature of their activity, it is normal for runners to suffer injuries due to repetitive stress. There’s always a risk of having their connective tissue, joints, or muscles damaged. Particularly, knees, legs, and feet are the commonest injury areas for runners. Read on to find out some of the injuries that runners suffer.
It is a common overuse injury among runners, and occurs when the kneecap is out of alignment. Runner’s knee, also known as patellofemoral syndrome, manifests as pain around the kneecap. Runners with muscles in the knee and hip areas are usually at risk of developing runner’s knee. If you suffer from locked or tight hips check out Unlock Your Hip Flexors Review – Reduce Pain, Improve Mobility and Overall Health.
Runner’s knee is aggravated by exercise, jumping, squatting, climbing steps, and prolonged sitting. Often, runners may experience a cracking or popping sound, especially after long periods of inactivity.
Sometimes, a small crack forms in the bone as a result of repetitive stress or impact. Runners may develop a stress fracture in the heel, lower leg, or at the top of the foot. Stress fractures are characterized by mild pain that gets worse with time, bruising, swelling, or tenderness in the injured area.
This is an injury suffered by runners when the Achilles tendon gets inflamed. Particularly, this injury occurs with increased miles or intensified running. Achilles tendinitis is mostly characterized by a dull pain above the heel, swelling along the Achilles tendon, a warm sensation in the tendon area, and limited range of movement when bending the foot toward the shin.
Achilles tendinitis may cause the Achilles tendon to rupture if left untreated, and a runner will require surgery to repair the ruptured tendon.
Also referred to as tibial stress syndrome, shin splints may occur when a runner changes their workout, intensifies their running, and increases their running distance. With shin splints, runners feel pain inside and in the front of the lower leg along the tibia (shin bone). This injury can be treated with stretching exercise, rest, and a slow return to activity after healing. If left untreated, shin splints can develop into stress fractures.
IT Band Syndrome
The iliotibial (IT) band is the connective tissue that connects the knee to the outer hip and helps stabilize the knee during walking or running. The repetitive rubbing of this tissue against the leg bone results in repetitive friction, which causes a sharp pain on the outside of your leg and above the knee.
These are some of the common injuries that runners suffer, but others include hamstring injuries, ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, calf strains, meniscal tear, and anterior compartment syndrome.