Running is a fun way to stay healthy, but have you ever considered how much strain it can put on certain parts of your body? If you happen to be an athlete, then you are pushing your body to the limits, and for runners, the feet take the brunt of the strain. Here is some information about common injuries sustained by running, and ways to treat them.
This is an inflammation at the bottom of the foot, and is probably the most common ailment a runner would encounter. One common symptom is a sharp pain at the base of the heel, and it can range from annoying to sheer agony. The common causes are overuse, which comes from too much training, and improper footwear.
The best way to treat running injuries is with sports orthotics, which are specially made from composite materials to provide that extra support. Avoid walking on bare feet, and stretching the calf muscles, while an ice pack will provide some temporary relief.
Achilles tendonitis is simply an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, and these injuries heal slowly, as the feet are far from the heart, so there is a restricted blood flow. This problem manifests itself in the form of a pain in the lower leg, just above the heel at the Achilles tendon. The reason could be tight calf muscles, or possibly tight lower legs, which puts a lot of strain on the Achilles tendon, especially after hard training sessions.
The use of ice, stretching, and resting will all help alleviate the pain, but the long term solution is to wear orthotics. Another answer could be to have a special training program that strengthens the lower leg muscles, which will alleviate the problem.
The correct medical term is patellofemoral knee syndrome, and the symptoms are a constant ache behind the kneecap as you run, and quite often the pain will get worse if you continue to run.
The causes include running on uneven surfaces, poor footwear, and weak hips, with the tissue under the kneecap not having sufficient time to recover between runs.
The first thing is to stop running, as to continue will only aggravate the injury. If the knee is inflamed, work with the ice, and perhaps an anti-inflammatory treatment. Consider shortening your stride, which will shift the centre of gravity slightly, and also knee strengthening exercises have been known to provide long term results.
This is a general term that relates to any number of injuries to the lower shin area. The worst case scenario causes a stress fracture along the tibia, and every stride will be painful. This condition is usually caused by a sharp increase in activity, perhaps an athlete has ratcheted up their training sessions a little too much, and is common in novice athletes, when the body is not yet adjusted to the strenuous workload.
Lots of rest and regular ice packs will help. Ease back into your training schedule and pay close attention to your footwear, as worn out shoes will not help your recovery.
Our feet work very hard all of our lives, so it makes sense to take good care of them. Runners should pay particular attention to any small problem, as it can often lead to something more serious.