Running can be beneficial in many ways. It can be used as a form of working out, or it can simply be used as an effective way to warm up. Running can be performed by people of all ages who possess a variety of different exercise levels.
Running comes with many benefits for your body and it can be performed at any part of the day, in any terrain and with no equipment. However, running without sufficient rest can put your muscles, joints, and ligaments at risk of injury.
Most running injuries are due to repetitive trauma like overuse of the muscles or ligaments, and speed changes. However, some running injuries might also occur because of sudden trauma like sudden twists or an unexpected fall.
Here are the top 5 running injuries that can occur.
1. Runner’s Knee
This condition (also known as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome) develops over time due to the overuse of the knee.
Symptoms of Runner’s Knee include a dull pain in front of your knee joint and around your kneecap (patella). The pain can range from a mild ache-like feeling, to a sharp pain and it may be accompanied by a cracking sound in the knees after prolonged sitting or exercise.
By using a knee support or patella support brace you can alleviate the pain and other symptoms and reduce any further damage to the knee. The patella support brace has added support as it works to stabilize the patella and hold it in place.
2. Hamstring strain
Hamstrings are tendons at the back of the thighs that attach the large thigh muscle to the bone. Hamstrings control the forward movement of your leg. They contract one way to lift the foot off the ground, and contract the other way to slow down the leg in preparation for the foot to hit the ground. While running, the hamstring is constantly contracting, and this can create minor tears in the muscle fibres, which gradually develop into a strained hamstring.
Symptoms include weakness and a dull aching pain at the back of your thigh. The flexibility of the hamstring muscle is also decreased. Our Hot and Cold Pack works to treat the acute and later stages of a hamstring strain. In the early stage, the pack can be used cold to relieve the pain and swelling. In the later stages, when tightness develops in the torn muscle fibres, the pack can be used hot to relieve the tightness.
3. ITB syndrome
ITB stands for Illiotibial Band, which is a thick muscular band stretching from your hip to your knee on the outer side of your leg. In general, runners have a tight ITB.
When a person has weak muscles in the hips and abdomen along with tight ITB, the condition is termed ITB syndrome. If you feel pain on the outer side of your thigh just above the knee joint, then it’s your IT band rubbing against your shin bone causing the pain.
You can treat the condition at home by applying a hot pack for 15 minutes to the side of your thigh and then using a foam roller to relieve the tightness of the ITB.
4. Shin splint
“Shin splints” refers to pain along the large bone in the front of your lower leg. This injury often occurs in athletes who have suddenly increased their running speed or intensity. The extra work puts extra strain onto the muscles and tendons in the legs. Common symptoms include slight swelling or tenderness in the front of your leg.
The condition can be treated by resting the leg. In the acute stage of shin splints, ice packs can be used as an effective way to reduce pain and swelling.
5. Achilles tendonitis
The Achilles tendon is located at the back of your lower leg and connects the calf muscles to your heel. The inflammation of the Achilles tendon is called Achilles tendonitis.
If you suddenly increase your running speed or run more than usual without warming up, you can develop Achilles tendonitis. With this condition, you will have pain at the back of your leg just above your heel. It is important to treat this condition as soon as it starts to bother you. If not resolved, Achilles tendonitis can lead to a torn Achilles tendon, ankle sprains, flat foot, and other foot conditions.
Bracing the ankle with an ankle support or sleeve can reduce the incidence of Achilles tendonitis. The sleeve will also help reduce the severity if the condition has already occurred and will speed up the healing process.
Use of Kinesiotape for prevention and treatment of the 5 Running Injuries detailed above:
Kinesiotape, also known are kinesiology tape is the best choice for managing sports injuries including the ones caused by running.
If you are suffering with Runner’s Knee, taping can pull the knee joint back into natural alignment, helping rehabilitation exercises.
- You can use Kinesio tape for hamstring pain relief as it takes pressure off the muscles, relaxes the injured tissues, and promotes healing through improved circulation.
- For ITB, you can use Kinesio tape to relieve the pressure of the tight band from the body, thus providing pain relief from ITB syndrome.
- Using K-tape for shin splint is also very effective as it offloads the muscles around the shin, promotes blood flow, and reduces pain.
- K-tape supports the Achilles tendon, relieving the inflammation of the tendon and providing it extra strength to bear normal activity thus preventing complete tear or further complications.
*None of the above-mentioned products are to be used as a permanent solution to mend any injuries caused to the body. Always consult a doctor to understand the extent of your injury and abide by doctors and Physiotherapy recommendations.