6 Common Running Injuries (and How to Avoid Each)

As much as we love running there are common injuries associated with the sport that can cause us to be in pain and hault our running. It is best to know what you could be up against, how to avoid them and how to relieve it if you are experiencing it. Here are 5 common running injuries: and Running can cause us to enter

1. Runner’s Knee

Patellofemoral pain syndrome, better known as “Runner’s Knee,” basically is an unbrella term for pain that occurs in or around the kneecap. Irritation of the tendons, cartilage, fat pad beneath the patella, or other tissues can be the culprit of the pain due to any number of issues such as overuse, muscle imbalance, foot problems, a misaligned kneecap, or something else.

Avoid: Strength training is so important with running, especially as you start increasing your milage. Focus on strengthen your quadriceps and glutes to help move the load from your knees to your legs. Stronger muscles in your quads and glutes allows for increased joint stability. Stronger muscles also help improve your form which can decrease your risk of “runner’s knee”. More strength in your muscles decreases the actual load of impact on the joint itself.

To avoid developing, STRETCH!! Get a foam roller to keep your IT band loose. I know it hurts, but Runner’s knee hurts more. Make sure after a run you are stretching your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves out. Yoga is a great way to make appropriate time for is.

Relieve: If you unfortanetly have already developed runner’s knee, a foam roller is your best bet to release your IT band. Runner’s knee is most often caused by a tight IT band as the insertion site is right blow your knee. Icing your knee and proper us elastic therapeutic tape(KT tape) can help stabilized your patella as a three-pronged approach. Head over to youtube for some proper demos! Deep tissue massage from a registered massage therapist can also help to release tight muscles.

2. Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Your iliotibial band is a ligament that stretches from your pelvis to shin along the outside of your thigh helps stabilize your knee when you run. If it becomes too tight, you might feel a nagging knee pain. This is such a common running injury and can often be mistaken as a knee issue since the insertion site is directly below the knee.

Avoid: Strengthening your glutes is key. Squats are maybe not your best friend but suck it up and do them. Strengthening your muscles posteriorly will take the load of your knees and decrease your chance of injury. Get on that foam roller and roll out your IT band. To do so, lie on your side with the foam roller under your hip and roll away! It is also important to get yourself fitted with the proper running shoe, replace worn-out shoes and watch your heel stricking when running down hill.

Relieve: If you didn’t roll before IT band syndrome developed, you need to start. It helps to relieve the pain and release the tightened IT band. Also make sure to stretch out your glutes, hamstrings, and quads too. Deep tissue massage from a registered massage therapist can also help to release the IT band.

3. Plantar Fascitis

The plantar fascia is a fibrous band of tissue in the sole of your foot stretching from your heel to your toes. Tiny tears in the fascia cause inflammation and, with it, intense heel pain. You’ll often feel it more in the morning or after long periods of sitting or standing. If you are a heel stricker you are at an even higher risk of developing it.

Avoid: Get yourself the right shoes. Everyones foot is different, get the shoes that fit you best. A gait analysis will also tell you if you have any issues with heel stricking, pronation(foot rolling out) or supnation(foot rolling in). Heel stricking damages the fascia in the heel and tightens the muscles. Make sure to keep your lower legs and feet loose with stretches for your calves and plantar fascia, in addition to arch strengthening exercises.

Relieve: If you develop irritation under your foot you can see a foot doctor about getting a night splint to keep your foot straight while you sleep. You can also roll a tennis ball underside of your foot to help release the muscles. If you have developed plantar fascititis without getting fitted for proper shoes or having a gait analysis, try that as well.

4. Piriformis Syndrome

Your piriformis is a muscle in your posterior that stabilizes your hip joints, maintains your balance, and allows you to shift from foot to foot. When the muscle compresses the sciatic nerve with too much force, you can develop pain in your butt or tingling that travels all the way to your toes.

Avoid: I think I’ve mentioned this before… Strengthen your glutes!! Get out there and squat, squat, squat baby!! Strengthening your glutes help prevent the piriformis from getting tight and irritated. Having a strong core, lower back and pelvic muscles also help stabilize your hip joint and improve your balance. After squating it out, throw in some planks while you are at it!

Relieve: Grab a lacrosse or tennis ball to roll out your glutes, digging deep into the muscle. Lean up against a wall with the ball between the wall and your glut and roll. Make sure you roll out after each run to decrease the pain. “Rolling both before and after you run can help decrease symptoms,” Silverman says. Keep the ball handy to roll intermittently throughout the day as well.

5. Posterior Tibialis Tendonitis

The posterior tibialis tendon has one important job and that is: arch support. The tendon connects your calf muscle to the inside of your ankle. When it becomes irritated, inflamed, or torn, you might be looking at foot and ankle pain, along with arches that fall slowly over time resulting in flat feet.

Avoid: I’ve also mentioned this before… get fitted for proper shoes. Please don’t just buy yout favourite colour, or the cutest ones on the shelf. Get the ones that best suite your particular foot. Your arch height determines how much your ankle rolls inward or outward when you run, and consequently, what shoes might work best for you—a neutral shoe that allows your foot to roll naturally inward, or a stability or motion control shoe that restricts movement in one direction or another. If you have higher or lower arches you may need to get fitted with custom orthotics.

Relieve: Massage and ice the area to ease symptoms. Rest or switch to low-impact exercises that take the burden off your feet for a while, and consider being fit for orthotics.

6. Locked Sacroiliac Joint

Your sacroiliac joints (SI joints) are on both sides of your pelvis and allows for torsional and twisiting movements of the pelvis when we move our legs. They are stabilized by ligament connections and muscles. They essentially support your entire weight of your upper body. Pain is usually located on either side of the back or a band like pain across the whole back. It can radiate into your butt, low back and pelvis. Stiffness and pain can increase after getting out of bed, sitting for awhile or shortly after a run.

Avoid: Stretch!! Seriously, stretching is your best friend when it comes to avoiding common running injuries. Oh and foam roll. Seriously just accept that you need to spend some time with that bad boy.

Relieve: Registered massage therapists can help work through your tight unhappy muscles that surrond your SI joint. Get on your foam roller and roll it out. The best position to help with SI joint injury is to bend your leg and place the outside of one foot on the bottom of the opposite thigh muscle above your knee and lean into your upper glute.

You can also use a tennis or laccrosse ball to release your glute muscle in the same manor.
tennis ball

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