Running injuries can hamper your training or leave you sidelined.
These injuries often result from hours of running and are very rarely caused by an accident or an external force. The worst of the injuries are those that are most frequently seen with distance running.
While there is no consolation for individuals nursing a running injury, research suggests that injury is a common side-effect of running and, according to the estimates of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 70 percent of runners will be injured in one way or the other.
Although runners face a variety of ailments each year, the following are the most troublesome and usually take a long time to heal.
Runner’s knee or the PFPS (Patellofemoral pain syndrome) is the irritation of the cartilage located underside of the kneecap (patella). This injury flares up during long runs or after extended periods or running, sitting, or descending stairs and hills. It has a nasty tendency to become chronic and frustrating in some unlucky runners.
Runner’s knee is such a common ailment suffered by runners that it was named after them. The alignment may result in the kneecap losing its ability to smoothly follow its vertical track while the knee is bending and extracting, leading to wear and tear of the joint. Therefore, overuse injuries like the runner’s knee may cause osteoarthritis down the line.
Achilles tendonitis results from irritation or inflammation of the large bands of tissues connecting the muscles in your lower leg’s back area to the heel bone. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling and weakness after running sessions.
Runners suffering from Achilles tendinitis often complain about pain and swelling close to the heel, which can be sharp and incapacitating over a period of time. Tight calves are often the culprit, as tight lower legs put greater stress on the Achilles tendon. Hard training over the course of several months can overburden Achilles tendon and cause tendinitis injury.
IT (iliotibial) Band Syndrome
IT band is the tendon connecting your knee to your hip. ITBS or IT band syndrome results from the inflammation of this tendon. It commonly starts as twinge, and progresses to a feeling like someone has stabbed you in the side of the knee while running, especially when running downhill. It can quickly become a debilitating sports injury if not addressed, potentially sidelining the best of us for months.
Running downhill or running on the same side of the road can put a lot of stress on the knee’s side and cause friction between the femur and the IT band. These are the most common causes of IT band syndrome, and, overtime, tightening of the IT band may cause swelling and pain. The pain eventually becomes intensive to a level where it keeps runners sidelined.
Recovering from Running Injuries
If you’re suffering any of these or another running injury, you could speed up recovery through the following ways:
Getting enough sleep and taking rest is the usual recommendation when recovering from a running injury, but this does not imply that you should give up on all activities. Active recovery, in fact, involves light exercise during the recovery phase to stimulate blood flow to the injured tissues and muscles to help reduce soreness and pain. That is why active recovery can include a light jog, or a swim.
Utilizing compression gear during the recovery phase can help speed up the process. According to Tommie Copper, compression clothing such as compression shorts and socks helps in relieving muscle and joint stiffness and soreness.
Such clothing also simulates oxygen delivery to the muscles, helps enhance joint and muscle stability, and provides a soothing warm feeling. These factors combine to speed up recovery during light training and resting.
Apart from following a balanced diet plan consisting of plenty of vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water helps in flushing out toxins and preventing dehydration, both of which can make muscle soreness painful. While the amount of water you should drink has no consensus, a good starting point is to aim for half of your body weight in ounces of water per day.
Massaging the hamstrings and quadriceps around the injured area will help in loosing up things. You could also use a foam roller for releasing the trapped triggered points around the joint area; releasing of these trigger points often brings pain relief for those suffering low to mild running injuries. Such active release techniques help in breaking up the scar tissue and restoring normal function.
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