How to Prevent Running Injuries
Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.
Strengthening exercises focusing on the quad muscle and sports orthotics are the usual treatments for those suffering from runner’s knee. Prevention of the condition lies in a focus on hip strengthening and quad-strengthening to keep the kneecap aligned. To help learn the best exercise to heal runner’s knee, one can also undergo physical therapy.
Runners can still be prone to running injuries even with proper precautions. If you are suffering from a running injury, contact one of our podiatrists from Tri-County Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.
One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome. Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury. Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.
While exercising is beneficial in order to get your body in shape, you are also becoming more susceptible to running injuries. Ankle sprains, stress fractures, and heel pain can all be preventable injuries if you take precautions before jumping into your workout routine. Unsurprisingly, one of the most common sources of running injuries happens to be improper footwear. You should always make sure that the shoes you buy provide enough support for your feet, and are made from a breathable material. Buying shoes that are made for the type of activity you will be performing can also help in avoiding injury. For example, you should buy running shoes if you want to go for a run, and walking shoes if you plan on walking.
If you’re going to do a lot of physical activity, make sure you have the proper equipment and footwear. A process when the foot rolls inward when a person runs or walks, called pronation, determines if feet are prone to injury. Overpronation and underpronation are especially dangerous, so make sure to get the proper footwear. Look for shoes that are comfortable and add support and stability. Neutral shoes are ideal for those who have slight pronation, and stability shoes are better for overpronation. The American Podiatric Medical Association recommends that those who have low arches should look for “a shoe designed for motion control and stability,” while those with normal arches should choose a shoe with “equal stability and cushioning for shock-absorption.” Those with high arches should search for more flexibility in shoes.
Barefoot running is becoming a more and more popular running trend throughout the running and jogging communities. However, running without shoes also affects the motions of your stride. When barefoot running, choosing to run without shoes is not the only adjustment you will have to make.
Whenever you run normally with shoes, your heel strikes the ground first as you land while you roll over the ball of your foot and push off with the front part and toes. Barefoot runners land on the front part of their feet and not their heels. This shifts the impact from the back to the front of the foot. In order to do this safely and without much injury, runners need to reduce their stride to create softer landings.
One of barefoot running’s biggest advantages is the reduced risk of injury. Landing on the front of your foot with a reduced stride lessens the stress placed on the back of the foot, heels, and ankles. It also works out many muscles in the feet, ankles, and lower legs that you do not normally get to strengthen because of the different motions. Your posture and balance are also improved with barefoot running, as is your sensory input from your feet to the rest of your body. Studies have shown that countries that have large populations of people who do not wear shoes every day are at lower risk for foot and ankle injuries and complications.
However, there is still some skepticism behind barefoot running because of some disadvantages it brings. One of these is the complete lack of protection for your feet while running. Bruises, scrapes, cuts, and even blisters can easily form when you have no protection from sharp or rough objects on the ground. Landing on the front of your feet can also cause Achilles tendonitis because of the overuse of the Achilles tendon.
Despite this, barefoot running can be made safe and enjoyable if you make a slow transition from your normal running routine into barefoot running. Rather than jumping straight into barefoot running, gradually work your way from walking to jogging to running, increasing the distance each time. It is also recommended to start off on flat, even surfaces that do not contain sharp or dangerous objects because your feet are unprotected. Minimalist running shoes are a great middle ground to start with because they combine the protection of shoes with the fit and feel of barefoot running.