Three of the most common running injuries are:
- Plantar fasciitis: plantar fasciitis is a straining of the ligament in the foot that supports the arch. It can result in tightness, pain in the arch, and pain in the heel.
- IT Band syndrome: IT stands for iliotibial. The iliotibial band is a band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the knee. It provides stability and helps prevent dislocation of those joints. The band may overdevelop, tighten, and rub across the hipbone or the outer part of the knee. Each time the knee is bent or the hip flexed, the band rubs against bone.
- “Runner’s Knee”: also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome, patellar tendonitis. Runner’s knee isn’t really a specific injury. It’s a loose term for several specific disorders with different causes.Symptoms of runner’s knee are:
- Pain behind or around the kneecap, especially where the thighbone and the kneecap meet
- Pain when you bend the knee — when walking, squatting, kneeling, running, or even rising from a chair
- Pain that’s worse when walking downstairs or downhill
- Popping or grinding sensations in the knee
The common causes for all of the above injuries are typically one or more of the below:
- Weak glute and hip muscles: your glutes and hip muscles are responsible for stabilizing and maintaining good mechanics during the running cycle. Poor glute and hip strength leads to unstable joints, altered mechanics, and increased forces through the knees and ankles, often resulting in injury.
- Decreased mobility in hips and ankles: running is a complex cycle involving almost all of the joints in the body. In order to maintain good mechanics the ankle and hip joints need to have proper mobility and range of motion. Limited mobility in the ankle and hip lead to compensation elsewhere, often in the knees or as overuse of the soft tissue structures (muscle, tendon, ligament).
- Improper footwear: SHOES, SHOES, SHOES! Each person has a slightly different shape to their foot as well as motion of the foot during running. It cannot be overstated that having the appropriate shoe for your foot is key to healthy and comfortable running.
- Improper progression of training: increasing your volume, intensity, or duration of running too quickly causes strain on your body that your body can’t heal or repair. A running coach can help you gauge your body’s appropriate level of progression.
The 5 exercises all runners should do to maintain strength and help prevent injury are:
- Lunge matrix –
Bridge with Kick:
Front Plank with Leg Lift:
Side Plank with Leg Lift:
The 2 mobility exercises all runners should do before running are: