Every runner/sportsperson is likely to sustain an injury, in one way or another. Most running injuries occur when you either push yourself too hard or too fast. Some people choose to run through the pain, a practice that often goes on to worsen the injury. If you are an active sportsperson, it is important to familiarise yourself with these injuries – it will help you recognise the issue much faster and take corrective action, preventing the problem from aggravating further. In this blog we look at the most common running injuries and the treatments available for rehabilitation and recovery.
This condition is usually a result of overworking the Achilles tendon, which is a band of tissues that connect the calf muscles to the heel bone. Exposing the tissues to extreme pressure and abnormal conditions, tight/ weak calf muscles and ankle joints, wrong footwear, extreme uphill running or sudden changes in speed – any of these can cause the tendon to become swollen or degenerate. While the pain and discomfort begins to subside after the workout, Achilles Tendonitis is a serious running injury that should not be taken callously.
Treatment: Treatments include NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), using heel pads, therapeutic sports massages and extensive rehab. Surgery might also be required if the injury is acute enough.
This injury usually involves pain and discomfort towards the front of one’s lower legs, along the shin bone (tibia). Intensive running, wearing ill-fitting shoes, running on hard surfaces for prolonged periods, reduced flexibility of ankles and a bad running posture are the most common causes. The pain usually begins at the very outset of the run, extending from the lower half of the shin to the knee. With shin splints, the discomfort often reduces while running but almost always comes back with a stabbing intensity, when the runner begins to slow down. Inflammation and formation of lumps have also been seen with patients.
Treatment: Most treatments for Shin Splints focus around abating the actual pain and providing relief to the patient. Doctors usually prescribe extended periods of rest, massage, application of cool packs and consumption of NSAIDs to help the runner in recovering.
ITBS (iliotibial Band Syndrome) is characterised by tenderness in the Iliotibial Band which begins to generate friction against the knee cap. The problem usually occurs due to a tight ITB and weak hip muscles, insufficient stretching and warm-up, ill-fitting footwear and extensive running on hills. ITBS pain is generally felt on the outside of the knee while walking downhill or climbing stairs, especially when this joint is bent to a 45 degree angle. Inflammation might also occur.
Treatment: Running should be immediately stopped after sustaining this injury. Rest, cool packs and NSAIDs are the first line of treatment. If the injury doesn’t respond to the above, Osteopathy, Active release technique and Graston Technique are recommended in the affected area.
Take care while enjoying sports activities!