Running is one of the most popular forms of sporting activity worldwide. Despite its many health benefits, there are some concerns over the incidence of injury, especially heel pain, shin pain and knee pain among runners and joggers. Here are the most common running injuries and how to prevent them:
Up to 40% of marathon runners suffer from blisters. The heels, toes and balls of the feet are the most commonly affected areas. They are caused by prolonged friction that produces a shearing force in between the layers of skin. As the layers of skin separate they fill with blood or fluid. This results in a painful blister. Make sure you have properly fitted running shoes and break these in gradually. Never wear new running shoes for a race or a long run.
Commonly known as runner’s knee, IlioTibial Band Friction Syndrome is so prevalent in runners. It affects up to 10% of all runners at some stage. Typically there is pain located on the outer side of the knee joint. This pain may radiate up the thigh or down the outer side of the shin and is exacerbated by running. Usually, the knee pain from Runner’s Knee is only present during activity and settles when the person rests. However, in some cases it can also be extremely uncomfortable going up or down stairs. Runner’s Knee is an overuse condition that is aggravated by excessive training. Make sure that you gradually increase your training load – there should be no sudden increases in workload as this can overload the tissues.
Shin splints is a common term for pain in the shin region. One of the most common shin conditions that is labeled as shin splints is medial tibial stress syndrome. It is fairly common in runners. People suffering from medial tibial stress syndrome will feel shin pain on the inner side of the shin during exercise and also at rest. It is important to consult a sports doctor who can distinguish medial tibial stress syndrome from other causes of shin pain such as compartment syndrome and stress fracture. The amount of stress being placed on the shins can be minimized by wearing good quality, supportive running shoes with shock absorbing insoles. It is possible that some cases of medial tibial stress syndrome could be prevented by correcting problems such as flat feet (excessive pronation) with arch supports.
Plantar fasciitis refers to inflammation of the plantar fascia, a fibrous sheath that runs most of the length of the sole of the foot, usually at the point where it attaches to the heel bone. It is a common cause of heel pain in runners. Inadequate footwear is often implicated in plantar fasciitis. Shoes should provide adequate support for the foot during running. Unsuitable footwear can increase strain of the plantar fascia and lead to the development of inflammation.
Should you have any of these conditions, we recommend that you seek professional care. Take adequate rest before continuing with training. You can also benefit from massages from qualified masseurs. Come to Thai Odyssey and leave your pain in our healing hands.