How to prevent injuries while running

Runner on track grabs lower back in painRunning has many health benefits - it helps beat stress, it’s a great way to keep in shape, and it’s a cardiovascular workout that’s hard to beat. Running can also cause injuries, many of which are preventable.

What Are the Most Common Running Injuries?

Runners knee: The injury called runner's knee is characterized by kneecap pain that worsens when you run downhill or go downstairs. It's caused by cartilage irritation under the kneecap or a tendon strain.

ITB Syndrome: Your ITB is a broad tendon that runs from your knee to your hip. When your ITB is tight, it can create pressure on the fluid sacs in the knee and hip joints, causing swelling and pain around the outside of the knee and/or hip.
Shin splints: Pain in and around your shins when you start your run can signal shin splints. Shin splints develop from muscle or tendon inflammation around the shinbone.

How Do I Get Injured So Easily When Running?

If you are easily injured when running, the issue may be your running shoes. Research suggests that the high injury rate in running is due to the shoes runners wear.

How Can I Be Less Running Injury Prone?

Here are some pointers on how to prevent running injuries:

  • Shoes: Wear the correct type of running shoes based on the structure of your foot and running style.
  • Gait analysis: See a professional to analyze your gait. You may need orthotics to help prevent running injuries.
    Improve and/or maintain your flexibility: Stretch every day to improve and/or maintain your flexibility. Stretch after you warm up, and take your time to stretch all parts of your body.
  • Strength training: Strength training helps maintain your strength and decreases muscle fatigue that can lead to injuries.
  • Hydration and diet: Stay hydrated; and eat a healthy and well-balanced diet to stay in tip-top shape.
  • Warm-up before all runs: It's important to warm up before you run to clear out lactic acid in the muscles to help prevent soreness.
    Slowly build up mileage and structure your training schedule: Gradually build up the amount and intensity of your running.
  • Rest days: Be sure to include rest days in your schedule to allow your body to recover from running.
  • Cross-train: Cross-training helps you maintain physical and cardiovascular fitness, while avoiding the excessive impacts that would result from too much running.

How Do You Prevent Cramps When Running?

You can help prevent cramps when running by pre-hydrating and staying hydrated during your run. When running, breathe from your lower lungs (deep lung breathing).

Can Old Running Shoes Cause Injury?

Yes, old running shoes can cause injury. Have your gait analyzed to see if you need orthotics. Update your running shoes.

How Do You Prevent Tendonitis When Running?

It's important to stretch to help prevent tendonitis. Also, wear supportive shoes when running that are replaced every 500 miles. Be sure to warm up before running, and vary your terrain during your runs.

How Often Do Runners Get Injured?

A range of studies demonstrate that as little as 19% and as much as 79% of runners are injured each year.

How Do I Improve My Running Without Injury?

Follow the tips in the section here entitled: How Can I Be Less Running Injury Prone?

Will Running Everyday Cause Injury?

Running every day can cause injury, because your body needs rest days to recover from running. Without recovery time, your chance of injury increases.
For more information on running issues and your health, make an appointment today at Specialty Orthopedics of Harrison, NY. Our doctors offer comprehensive treatment plans for musculoskeletal issues.

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