Watch For These Common Running Injuries
Understanding Running Injuries
Running is a great cardio workout, and you may decide it is finally time to just get out there and do it. You need to start slowly though, especially if you have never run before. Doing too much, too soon, is the most common cause of many running injuries. Many problems in your legs, hips and back begin with a biomechanical difficulty in your feet. Here are some some of the common issues we see in runners who come to Ottawa Foot Practice with foot and leg pain.
Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Pain
The ligament under your foot (plantar fascia) helps form your arch by connecting your heel bone to your toes. It expands and contracts with your stride, but problems with the alignment and movement of your ankle bones could cause excessive trauma to the tissue, which can tear or become inflamed. It can also pull against the outer bone membrane on your calcaneus, causing severe pain under the heel bone.
We commonly address the issue with custom orthotics that have a good chance of eliminating your discomfort.
Achilles Tendon Issues and Bursitis
The strong tendon that runs up the back of your ankle from your heel bone to your calf muscles enables you to rise on your toes. It also helps you push off when you run, so problems there can severely hamper you. With overuse, it can become overstretched, develop surface tears, or even rupture completely, causing mild to severe pain behind your ankle.
There are also small protective fluid sacs that cushion between tendons, muscles, and your calcaneus. Repetitive trauma can make these bursae swollen and inflamed, making the back of your heel quite painful.
Stress Fractures and Lower Leg Pain
When your muscles are not conditioned properly, and you suddenly increase your level of activity, these tissues become fatigued and cont absorb the impact of your stride. Force is transferred directly to the bones, degrading them and causing hairline cracks to appear in the outer surface. These stress fractures become increasingly painful if not treated, and further weaken the bone so that a full break may occur. Your foot, ankle, heel, and fibula are the most common bones affected.
Running injuries also include pain that develops at the front of your legs along the tibia (shin bone). Shin splints occur more often in those with flat feet, and are often due to sudden changes in the length or intensity of your runs.
Twisted Ankles and Pulled Muscles
The ligaments that support your ankle joint are designed to move just so far and keep the bones aligned properly. Landing crooked in a hole or on a curb or rock during your run can cause these connectors to overstretch. The tissue damage and excessive movement of your ankle bones will result in pain, swelling and stiffness in your ankle and reduce its range of motion.
The same thing can happen to muscles in your feet, calves, or further up your legs. The muscles are pulled too far and the fibers can tear, leading to stiffness and soreness. Making sure you warm up and gently stretch your large and small muscles before activity can help prevent this type of injury.
Blisters and Black Toenails
These problems with your skin and nails are often the result of poor-fitting shoes. Friction on the skin causes the layers to separate and become filled with fluid, making that characteristic bubble on your foot. Shoes that are too short or too tightor not laced properlycan cause your nail to bang up against the fronts, especially as you run downhill. That can cause bleeding under your nail that turns it black.
For these and other running injuries that may be plaguing you, contact our team at Ottawa Foot Practice in Ontario. We can help design treatment for your painful issue and aids to prevent problems in the future. Just call us at (613) 595-9700 or schedule an appointment through our website.