How to Treat Runner Injuries

Man with Runners knee

A healthy life without injuries

There are many different things that we might do to improve our health. Of course, eating the proper foods and getting some exercise is among the best things that we can do to maintain our health and to live a healthy life. In addition, we might ensure that we get enough rest on a nightly basis and drink plenty of water. From time to time, however, we may experience severe difficulties when doing these things and that is especially true if we exercise regularly. Yes, exercise is good for you, but sometimes, it can cause injuries.

One of the ways that many people enjoy exercising is running. It gives them the opportunity to get out and to spend a little time on their own. Many people appreciate the health benefits of running as well as the fact that it gives them the chance to be alone with their thoughts. Unfortunately, when you run on a regular basis, it can cause problems and sometimes, these problems can be severe. In fact, there are a number of injuries that are common among runners and understanding how to treat them can go a long way in helping you to get back out running again.

Runner's Knee

One of the most common injuries that are associated with running is runner's knee. This is a type of injury that is associated with overuse, but any number of different issues may cause it. Sometimes, it takes place when the alignment of the kneecap is out of place, and as you continue to run and use your knees on a regular basis, the cartilage wears down. This eventually leads to pain in the area.

The pain associated with runner's knee may be more pronounced when you move in specific ways, such as squatting, sitting for an extended amount of times or taking the stairs. It can be troubling, but it is something that can be treated if you care for it properly.

Of course, there isn't a way that you can medically cause the cartilage to grow back once it is worn. The most radical measure that can be done in this regard is to have a knee replacement surgery done by most people who run are not willing to do that. Perhaps what you are able to continue running and to put up with this problem as much as you possibly can but you need to take care of it in the best way possible. This would include icing your knee after you run and perhaps even taking some pain pills to reduce the issue.

Unfortunately, runner’s knee can be a permanent problem and it's one that may cause you to be uncomfortable when you are running from the time that it originally shows up. That doesn't mean, however, that needs to dictate your life from that point forward. By taking the proper measures and seeking treatment, you may be able to deal with the knee pain and perhaps even get out and run on occasion.

A Shin Splint

Another common issue that is associated with running is a shin splint. This is a pain that many runners are familiar with and it occurs in the lower leg on the shin bone, also known as the tibia. The most common time that shin splints are experienced is during a change in your workout. For example, you may run around the block on a regular basis, but if you try to increase how far you run or the number of days that you run every week, shin splints are a possibility.

Unfortunately, shin splints may be an ongoing problem but there are some treatment options available that may be able to help you to deal with the issue and perhaps even to overcome it. Just remember that it is going to take some time and, although you may see some benefit once you start with the treatment, it is going to need to be continued for a very long time.

One of the more difficult ways of treating shin splints is by resting. Most people who run do not want to take enough time off to heal this type of problem efficiently and they may actually try to run through the pain, rather than giving it enough rest to stop the pain from occurring. This can actually cause additional problems and you may find that you are almost crippling yourself as a result of the pain that you are experiencing.

Rather than resting completely, you may be able to stop the shin splints from occurring if you just reduce the amount of activity you are doing for some weeks. The issue that is associated with shin splints is going to heal over time and it will give you the opportunity to allow it to heal while at the same time, still having the opportunity to run on occasion. Stretching exercises may also help.

A Stress Fracture

A serious problem that can occur when you run regularly is a stress fracture. This is actually a crack in the bone and it is not only uncomfortable, it can be downright painful. Stress fractures are common in the feet and shin of runners and it typically occurs when you try to push yourself too hard prior to the time that your body is ready for that level of activity.

A stress fracture does not necessarily need to be diagnosed by a physician for you to know that you have a problem. When you start to experience a severe amount of pain when you are running, and it gets worse as you continue, it may be a problem with a stress fracture. Typically, resting the bone is going to be the best option for treating this type of runner injury. It not only helps the area to heal, but it also keeps further injuries from occurring.

A Pulled Muscle

Another common issue that may occur is a pulled muscle. This is also sometimes referred to as a muscle strain, and it takes place when you stretch the muscle too far. During the stretching process or perhaps even as you are running, you may feel the muscle tear, and it typically feels like a popping sensation. This can be a severe problem and it is one that requires you to rest the muscle, so it has the opportunity to heal.

Rest is the best option for treating this type of a runner injury but you may also want to try compression on the area, using some ice and elevating the leg. This can be a frustrating issue but if you give it time to heal, you can get back on the road again.

Inflammation

Finally, inflammation is going to be a problem that many runners experience and it may affect the Achilles tendon directly. The Achilles tendon is the tendon that attaches the back of the heel with the calf. It is typically more pronounced in the morning or when you are extremely active.

Achilles tendinitis is the official term used for this type of inflammation. Any number of different issues can cause it, but it is generally a repetitive stress problem that affects the tendon directly. You may experience it when you add a lot of distance to your running suddenly, or if your calf muscles are too tight, it may also contribute to the issue. The most common ways to treat this runner’s injury is by icing the area, resting it and doing calf stretches.

Running is a fantastic form of exercise, but it is also one that carries many injuries. Knowing how to avoid an injury or treating it properly when it does occur can help to keep you on the path and running regularly.


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