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Can You Get Injured While Running?

Running is the go-to exercise for many people. It's inexpensive, can be done almost anywhere, and burns a lot of calories per running session. As with any physical activity, it is possible to receive injuries while running. Some injuries can happen while running, while other injuries gradually build up until you start to consistently feel pain while running or walking. The repetitive nature of running means that most runners experience the same types of injuries. Fortunately, there are ways to help prevent common running injuries.

Common Types of Running Injuries

Runner's knee is one type of injury that affects the tissues that run from the hip to the shin. While running, this tissue flips back and forth between the front and back of the knee. Every time your foot hits the ground it impacts this tissue and causes friction. Over time, this friction can cause irritation of the tissue and produce pain while running, specifically downhill. You may also experience tightness in the knee or hip area and have pain when pressure is applied to the outside of the knee.

Shin splints are another common injury. Some runners refer to any pain that runs along the lower front part of the leg as shin splints, but real shin splints affect the actual shin bone and not the lower leg muscles. The cause of this pain is inflammation of the tissues surrounding the shin bone, caused by the lower leg muscles causing traction on the shin. Runners with this injury often experience pain in the shin while running, after running, and first thing in the morning. Sometimes, bumps can be felt around the shin area.

More serious injuries include a fracture or sprain. A sprain is a tearing of the ligaments in the foot. Runners can sprain more than one ligament at a time, causing them to forego running until the injury heals. Sprains can occur from landing on the foot incorrectly or hitting an unexpected dip on the trail, causing the foot to turn. Fractures are actual cracks in the bone, commonly occurring in the leg. Unlike traditional fractures that occur after a fall, running fractures occur from the consistent pounding on the muscles during running. Both sprains and fractures can cause severe, persistent pain that doesn't alleviate with just rest.

How to Prevent Injuries While Running

There are a few things you can do to help prevent injuries while running. The first is to always wear proper running shoes to avoid slip 'n fall injuries. You need to know the basic shape and design of your foot to pick the right shoe. Everyone has a different arch and ankle shape, and there are shoes designed to accommodate different foot shapes. Before running, you should always engage in a short warm up. This includes walking and stretching. This helps warm up the muscles and gets the blood flowing, reducing the risk of a pulled muscle or strain. Make sure to stretch again at the end of your run. By wearing the right type of shoes and warming up and cooling down properly, you can prevent some of the more common running injuries.



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