Eight Common Running Injuries – Bo Shirey, LAT/ATC

This article was written by one of Encore’s LAT/ATCs, Bo Shirey. Bo has worked with Encore since 1996 and is also a BLS instructor with the American Heart Association

Runners knee or Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)

    1. Irritation of the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap
    2. Flares up during or after long runs
    3. Hurts after sitting after period of time
    4. Risk factors are overpronation, weak quads, hips, or glutes
    5. Uphill running may be less painful, so avoid going downhill
    6. Strengthen weak hip and glute muscles
    7. Stretch your hip flexors
    8. Shorten your stride length while running with knee slightly bent will help
    9. Ice after runs and anti-inflammatory (Ibuprofen, Aleve, etc)

Achilles Tendinitis

    1. Achilles tendon connects two major calf muscles to the back of heel
    2. When under too much stress the tendon tightens and becomes irritated
    3. When you dramatically increase training and you have tight calves it can flare up
    4. Ice it 
    5. Strengthen calves with heel drops
    6. Take  anti-inflammatory (Ibuprofen, Aleve, etc)

Hamstring Issues

    1. The muscles in the back of your thighs that helps drive up hills and power finish kicks
    2. Often are irritated because of weak muscles
    3. Too flexible or too tight can cause problems in your hamstrings
    4. Muscle imbalance where quadriceps over power their hamstrings
    5. If pain is sudden and bruises you need to rest for a period of time
    6. Avoid intervals or hills
    7. Strengthen your hamstrings with hamstring curls
    8. Use a foam roller to alleviate tightness before and after runs
    9. Stay strong with bridges
    10. Take  anti-inflammatory (Ibuprofen, Aleve, etc)
    11. Ice after you run and heat before you run to help loosen it up

Plantar Fasciitis

    1. Small tears or inflammation of the tendons and ligaments on the bottom of foot
    2. Usually worse in the mornings and gets better after you take a morning shower
    3. Runners with high or low arches are vulnerable 
    4. Extreme pronation or supination and increase mileage too quickly can irritate it
    5. Tight hip flexors, weak core muscles, and a history of back pain can also contribute
    6. Recovery time may take as long as 3 months to a year
    7. Roll your feet over a frozen water bottle (ice it)
    8. Stretch it by rolling over a ball
    9. Use a foam roller to stretch out calves
    10. Do core work like planks
    11. Custom orthotic or proper running shoes will help
    12. Joint manipulation by a professional has shown signs of relief

Shin Splints

    1. It is a catch all term for pain in your lower leg on the front side
    2. It is when small tears occurs in muscles around your shin bone
    3. Common among new runners
    4. Signs of doing too much too quickly
    5. Make sure you have the proper shoes or orthotic might help
    6. Best cure is rest
    7. Ice massage by using paper cup filled with water and freezing it
    8. Compression tape or sleeve may help
    9. Make sure you increase your mileage gradually
    10. Take  anti-inflammatory (Ibuprofen, Aleve, etc)

Illiotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)

    1. IT band lies along the outside of the thigh from the hip to the knee
    2. The IT band will rub on the side of the femur which can cause irritation if you increase your mileage too quickly or too much downhill running
    3. Runners with ITBS may overpronate, have a leg length difference, or suffer from weak hip abductor and glutes
    4. Decrease your mileage when it flares up
    5. Strengthen the hip abductors with lateral side steps
    6. Strengthen glutes with monster walks
    7. Use a foam roller of the IT Band
    8. Shortening your stride so your weight centers on front of heel or midfoot as you land
    9. Do not run if pain radiates up and down your leg when walking or stairs
    10. Take  anti-inflammatory (Ibuprofen, Aleve, etc)
    11. Heat before you run and ice afterwards
    12. Stretch the IT band

Stress Fractures

    1. They develop over time from repetitive strain on the bone
    2. Runners mostly develop them on the shins, feet, or heels.
    3. Runners who over train are more likely to develop them
    4. Your bones need time to recover
    5. Women are more likely to get them than men because of low estrogen levels or not enough caloric intake
    6. Must rest for 6-12 weeks if you develop this
    7. It will not show up on x-ray but it will with a bone scan
    8. May have to wear a walking boot

Hip Bursitis

    1. Also known as trochanteric bursitis and is inflammation of bursa between tendon and bone which prevents friction
    2. Pain on the outside of the hip and is worse during activities
    3. Usually gets worse when pressing on the outside of the hip
    4. Pain may radiate down the outside of the thigh
    5. Overpronate may cause it because the knee falls inwards which increases the angle of the hip
    6. Weakness in the hip abductors and glutes will also increase the angles of the hip
    7. Tight structures around the hip like the IT band, hip flexors, and hamstrings can be a cause of hip bursitis
    8. Runners need to rest, ice and take  anti-inflammatory (Ibuprofen, Aleve, etc)

**If you have asthma avoid anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen or Aleve

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