Common Running Injuries

Mar 05, 2020

Are you gearing up for an upcoming 5k or race? Don’t let these common running injuries prevent you from hitting the pavement and reaching your goals.

1. Runner’s Knee 

If you are a runner, there is a large chance that you have experienced knee pain of some sort. One of the most common knee issues is called patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), or “runner’s knee,” and it is defined as irritation of the cartilage behind the patella (kneecap).  PFPS typically flares up during or after long runs, after extended periods of sitting, or while going down hills or stairs. 

2. Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon connects the two major calf muscles to the back of the heel – the gastrocnemius and the soleus. Stress on the   achilles tendon can cause irritation and inflammation (tendonitis). 

3. Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis, small tears or inflammation in that thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) that runs from your heel to your toes, is a popular complaint for many runners. Common symptoms are pain on the bottom of your foot while taking those first steps out of bed in the morning or experiencing pain on the bottom of the arch, typically worse after exercise.  

4. Shin Splints

“Shinsplints” refers to medial tibial stress syndrome, pain or soreness that results when small tears occur in the muscles around your tibia (shin bone).

5. Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)

The iliotibial (IT) band runs along the outside of your hip to the outside of your knee. When you run, your knee flexes and extends, which causes the IT band to rub on the side of the femur if the IT band is too tight or inflamed. Some common causes of ITBS are quick increases in mileage and downhill runs.

The key to fixing all of the above issues common with runners is to fully evaluate and find out “why” something is happening in order to fix the root cause or dysfunction.  For example, why does the achilles tendon get irritated from a tight calf muscle. What would cause calf tightness? Why pain on only one side and not the other? Pain made worse by running can be created by a problem or limitation away from the location of the pain.  Many people with plantar fasciitis have significant restrictions in the hip joint region causing foot dysfunction as a result of improper landing and push off.  

A free consultation can help you “be your best”

If you are experiencing issues with your training runs or find yourself not improving the way you feel you should be, if you are having pain with normal run lengths and distances that you could previously do without limitations, or if you simply want to start a running program “on the right foot,” give us a call for a no–cost consultation. We’ll get you up and running and help you “Be Your Best,” whether hitting the track, trail, or road.

Jason Robinet, with his wife, Barbara, are the co–founders of Robinet Physical Therapy. Watch for more helpful information our monthly RobinetPT newsletter on how to “Be Your Best.”