Running is a powerful activity, and when you subject your body to such force, injuries are bound to happen. It’s important that you are aware of the aches that may strike you, and learn to identify signals. Your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer warns that you should never run when you are feeling unwell or if you ever feel a sudden, sharp pain when running.
Following are some of the more common running injuries we’ve treated:
Shin splints. The pain occurs on the inside of your shinbone and is sometimes accompanied by swelling and tenderness. It can be triggered when excess force is exerted on the shinbone and the tissues that link the muscles to the bone. It’s often experienced by runners who have flat feet or rigid arches. You’re also at risk if you run on hard surfaces, or wear incorrect shoes.
Ankle sprain. This type of injury occurs when running on uneven or slippery surfaces. Typically, the foot turns inward, stretching and damaging the ligaments on the outside of the ankle, resulting in pain, swelling and bruising.
Plantar Fasciitis. This condition occurs when the connective tissue that runs from the bottom of the heel bone towards the toes along the sole becomes inflamed. Every step causes tension, making it stretch. When the fascia is irritated or inflamed, you’ll experience a stabbing pain in the heel, when you hit your foot to the ground first thing in the morning.
Achilles Tendonitis. This injury affects the Achilles tendon, which is the strongest and thickest tendon in the body. It connects the calf muscles to the heel bone, and bears pressure with every step you take. Running typically increases the pain and stiffness that occur in the heel and behind the ankle. It’s sometimes accompanied by swelling and a thickening of the tendon.
Runner’s Knee. This type of injury includes two conditions. One is Patello-Femoral Pain (PFPS), which affects the front of the knee and under the kneecap, and worsens while ascending and descending stairs, doing deep knee bends, or sitting for long periods of time. It’s usually associated with runners who have knock-knees or flat feet. The other condition – Ilio-tibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) – leads to pain on the outside of the knee, usually acute on onset.