Whether you're training for your first 5k or you pound the pavement for a daily run, running can be an exhilarating and rewarding experience. However, runners are at risk for several common injuries.
As a foot and ankle specialist at Renew Foot & Ankle, LLC, in Grand Rapids and Bigfork, Minnesota, double board-certified podiatrist Dr. Eric Gilbertson, DPM, FACFAS, often sees patients who are avid runners experiencing a range of injuries. From sports medicine to chronic foot pain, Dr. Gilbertson treats all conditions related to the foot and ankle.
Here are the most common runner’s injuries and how you can prevent them:
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue (plantar fascia) that connects the heel bone to the toes. It can cause heel pain and discomfort, often most noticeable when you first wake up and put weight on your feet in the morning.
To reduce your risk of developing plantar fasciitis, try the following tips:
The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. When you run frequently or otherwise overuse your Achilles tendon, you may end up with pain and swelling in your heel from Achilles tendinitis.
To reduce your risk of developing Achilles tendinitis, try the following tips:
Stress fractures are tiny cracks in bone, often occurring in the feet or lower legs due to repetitive force or overtraining. They can be painful and may require several weeks to heal.
To reduce your risk of developing stress fractures, try the following tips:
Medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome, shin splints cause pain along the shinbone. Shin splits typically result from sudden changes in physical activity.
To reduce your risk of developing shin splints, try the following tips:
While not unique to runners, sprained ankles frequently occur when the foot twists or rolls inward. Sprained ankles cause symptoms ranging from mild pain and swelling to more severe cases that hinder mobility.
To reduce your risk of developing a sprained ankle, try the following tips:
Every runner is unique, and while some might be more prone to injuries due to anatomy or gait, you can prevent many injuries with the right precautions.
A 5-10 minute warmup followed by stretching can increase blood flow to muscles and reduce the risk of injury.
Pain is a warning sign. If you experience discomfort beyond usual muscle fatigue, it's essential to rest and assess the issue. Don't push through severe pain.
On average, running shoes should be replaced every 300-500 miles, depending on weight and running style.
If you experience a runner’s injury or face persistent issues, call the office or schedule an appointment online.