Running is a great way to stay in shape, manage stress and increase your overall wellbeing; however, it’s not without its drawbacks. While being a low-risk activity, there are a few injuries that commonly affect runners. As running is a repetitive impact activity, most running injuries develop slowly and can be difficult to treat. Here are three of the most common conditions faced by runners.
- Runner’s Knee:
Runner’s knee is a persistent pain on the inside of the knee caused by the dysfunctional movement of the kneecap during movement. The kneecap ideally sits in the centre of the knee and glides smoothly up and down as the knee bends and straightens, in a process described as tracking. If something causes the kneecap to track abnormally, the surface underneath can become worn, irritated and painful. The pain might be small to start with, however, left untreated, runner’s knee can make running too painful to continue.
Shin splints is a common condition characterized by a recurring pain at the inside of the shin. While the cause of this condition is not always clear, it is usually due to repeated stress where the calf muscles attach to the tibia (shin bone). Why this becomes painful is likely due to a combination of factors that can be identified by your physiotherapist to help you get back on track as soon as possible.
- Achilles Tendonitis:
The Achilles tendon is the thick tendon at the back of the ankle that attaches to the calf muscles. The amount of force that this tendon can absorb is impressive and is vital in providing the propulsive force needed for running. If the stresses placed on the tendon exceed its strength, the tendon begins to break down and become painful.