Running Injuries

What are some common running injuries?

Running injuries can affect different parts of the body. Here are some of the more common injuries:

  • Foot and Ankle  

    • o.ankle sprain  

    • o.blisters  

    • o.plantar fasciitis (a painful inflammation of the bottom of the foot between the ball of the foot and the heel)  

    • o.stress fracture 

  • Lower Leg  

    • o.calf strain  

    • o.stress fracture 

  • Knee  

    • o.runner’s knee (patellofemoral pain syndrome)  

    • o.jumper’s knee (patella tendinosis)  

    • o.iliotibial band syndrome (inflammation and pain on the outer side of the knee) 

  • Hip and Thigh  

    • o.iliotibial band syndrome  

    • o.quadriceps strain  

    • o.hamstring strain 

How can I avoid foot and ankle injuries?

  • Proper footwear is the key to preventing foot and ankle injuries. Make sure your shoes fit correctly. There should be some room for your foot to swell a little when you are running. Make sure the shoes have support in the correct places for the shape of your foot. Go to a store with staff who are knowledgeable about running to help you choose the right shoes  

  • Running on proper terrain helps you avoid ankle sprains. If you run on trails, keep a careful watch for rocks, tree roots, and uneven terrain. If you run in cold weather, be careful with snow and ice. Choose paths that are well maintained  

How can I avoid getting a stress fracture?

  • Choose softer running surfaces. Rubberized tracks, grass or dirt trails, and the beach are good surfaces. Harder surfaces such as asphalt, cement, and pavement increase the stress on your bones.  

  • Do not increase your weekly running mileage by more than 10 or 15% each week. Adding too much mileage increases the risk of stress fracture. Every 4 to 6 weeks include a “back-off” week where you cut your weekly mileage by 50%. (For example, if you normally run 40 miles per week you would only run 20 miles during “back-off” week.) This “back-off” week allows your body to recover.  

How can I avoid getting muscle strains?

  • Make sure to include a proper warm-up before you run. Do NOT start with stretching. This has been shown to increase the risk of injury. Do dynamic warm-up exercises instead. These exercises increase blood flow to the muscles, lubricate the joints, and increase flexibility. Examples of dynamic warm-up exercises include jumping jacks, squat thrusts, push-ups, and other calisthenic type exercises. Only after you do the dynamic warm-up should you do a short warm-up period of 5 to 10 minutes of walking or easy jogging.  

How are these injuries treated?

Treatment depends on the kind of running injury that you have, which can be determined by your Reddy Urgent Care provider.

  • Stress fractures require rest, time off from running, and often the supervision of your healthcare provider.  

  • You may be able to still run with minor muscle strains, but you may have to run slower or a lesser distance.  

  • For some injuries like ankle sprains you may need to go to a physical therapist for rehabilitation exercises.  

When can I return to running?

Your return to running depends on the nature and severity of the injury. It may take 1 to 2 weeks to heal a minor muscle strain or ankle sprain. It may take several months to heal a serious stress fracture. Follow your Reddy Urgent Care healthcare provider’s advice about returning to any running activity.