As a high-impact activity, running poses a significant risk for injuries. Running places continual stress on the joints, making overuse injuries in particular common among runners.
That said, running injuries can be largely prevented with stretching, strengthening, and physical therapy. Here, we’ll discuss three of the most prevalent injuries for runners, as well as treatment strategies that you can use for prevention and recovery.
Top 3 Running Injuries
Achilles tendinitis is one of the most common overuse injuries among runners. With this injury, irritation, and tightness develop in the Achilles tendon (which is the band connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone). The main symptom of Achilles tendinitis is achiness in the lower legs, as well as stiffness and tenderness in the area that decreases with light physical activity.
The good news is that treatment for Achilles tendonitis is typically straightforward. After receiving a diagnosis and treatment plan, you can manage the tendinitis with home care, physical therapy, and rehabilitation to prevent pain. Calf strengthening is a sustainable solution to help runners avoid Achilles tendinitis symptoms.
Runner’s knee, or patellofemoral pain syndrome, is an injury that affects the kneecap. With the runner’s knee, the cartilage underneath the kneecap becomes inflamed, causing pain during or after runs. Runner’s knee can also cause pain when you go up or downstairs, or when you remain seated for long periods.
Strengthening the glutes, hips, and quads can be helpful for those struggling with the runner’s knee. Stretching out the hip flexors can also help to reduce pain from this injury.
Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury that affects the ligaments and tendons in the feet extending from the heels to the toes. Pain in the arch or at the bottom of the heel is the most common symptom of plantar fasciitis, and it’s often the worst right when you wake up in the morning. This injury is seen frequently in runners with extremely high or extremely low arches.
Lower back pain can be a significant factor in the development of plantar fasciitis. Chiropractic services can be used to address back pain, as well as tightness and weaknesses in other areas of the body that contribute to plantar fasciitis.
Treatment For Common Running Injuries
Common running injuries are often brought on or exacerbated by tightness and a limited range of motion. Chiropractic care can be helpful in relieving tightness in pinpointed areas to reduce strain on the body. Even if you’re experiencing pain in your lower legs, for example, relieving tightness in your back through chiropractic services can abate your lower leg symptoms.
Weakness in key muscles such as the core, glutes, hip muscles, and calves can increase your risk for injury as a runner. Physical therapy will help you structure a strengthening plan with targeted exercises to address your individual weak points. Stretching exercises can also be provided to alleviate tightness throughout the body, as tight muscles can contribute to the development of overuse injuries.
Functional rehabilitation programs can help you recover from running injuries as quickly and effectively as possible. With a focus on joint mobility, flexibility, functional strength training, core stability, and balance, rehabilitation enables runners to return to the track with renewed strength and overall wellness.
To learn more about treatment options for running injuries, contact Wasserman Chiropractic to set up an appointment.