How to Prevent and Treat Common Running Injuries
Whether you’ve been running for years or just the last few months, getting hurt is always a possibility. While you probably won’t break your collarbone like a quarterback on a football team would, stress fractures can happen when you put in a lot of miles. Even minor injuries can set you back if you’re trying to prepare for a race. Although you might not always be able to avoid injury, there are some things that you can do to lessen the likelihood of getting hurt.
As one of the most common injuries that runners face, shin splints can be painful. You might even have to take time off to let them heal, which can put you behind on your fitness and training goals. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can avoid them. First of all, if you’re training several times per week, at least a few of those should be on grass, sand, or another soft surface, rather than concrete. Shin splints are when the muscle or bone gets tiny tears, but soft ground lessens the impact on your shins. To treat shin splints, you need to rest and ice your shins.
A sprained ankle can leave you hobbling around for a few days to several weeks. To treat this, use the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. For several weeks after your ankle heals, it will need to be strengthened with range of motion exercises that, unfortunately, aren’t going to be a lot of fun. Strengthen your ankles by standing on one foot while keeping your raised foot away from your leg. Also, make circles with your ankles while sitting to increase the range of motion.
It’s funny how such a small thing can be so painful. To prevent them, make sure that you have shoes that fit you properly. As a treatment regimen, apply antibiotic cream to prevent further infection and soak your toenails in warm water for 15–20 minutes per day.
If you have pain around your knee, your patella might be rubbing against the femoral bone. Poor body mechanics causes this, and if you’re having pain, you might need to rest it. Taping or a knee brace can also lessen the stress on your knee. To avoid this in the future, you should strengthen the gluteus medius muscle and inner quads.
The types of injuries that runners incur are different than the types of injuries that other athletes experience. If you want to get the most out of your runs, take preventative measures by getting the right shoes and strengthening weak muscles before you have pain.