It’s Marathon Season! Tips to Avoid 5 Common Running Injuries
The arrival of fall means just one thing to many New Yorkers – marathon season. At Park Avenue Spine, we see five common injuries that generally result from running on hard city surfaces (asphalt and concrete), overuse, and improperly fitting shoes.
This is the most common reason for heel pain, caused by inflammation to the thick band that connects the toes to the heel bone, called the plantar fascia, which runs across the bottom of your foot. The pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis is usually worse when you first walk in the morning, after getting out of bed. As you continue to walk on the affected foot, the pain usually becomes less severe. Often, only one foot is affected, but it can occur in both feet simultaneously.
Illiotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome
A common overuse injury among runners that causes knee pain, ITB Syndrome is caused by inflammation of the Illiotibial Band, a fibrous band of connective tissue that runs from the hip to the outside of the knee. Gait abnormalities, running on uneven surfaces, rapidly increasing your running distance, and wearing shoes that are worn out are typical causes of ITB syndrome.
Runner’s knee results when the cartilage that enables the femur bone and kneecap to interact smoothly becomes damaged, causing pain and inflammation. This condition is caused by overuse, hip dysfunction, fallen arches (flat feet), trauma to the knee (such as a fall), or bone misalignment. Pain, swelling, and popping or grinding noises are common symptoms.
Shin splints also result from a change in the intensity or duration of a running schedule. Symptoms include pain and inflammation of the lower leg muscles, which often are caused by running on uneven surfaces, running downhill, and wearing inappropriate running shoes.
Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. It is a common running injury that is caused by overuse, improper warm up to prepare for running, improper running form, and trying to do “too much, too soon.”
The good news is that these conditions can be avoided…even when running in Manhattan.
In order to avoid these common injuries:
• Try to run on asphalt rather than concrete – it’s more forgiving on your joints and feet.
• Get fitted for your running shoes by a professional.
• Never start a run without warming up!
• Take care of your muscles and fascia by engaging in regular stretches and foam rolling techniques.
Videos that demonstrate proper stretches and warm up exercises are located on our YouTube channel. Take a look at the following videos in particular to learn how to prevent these types of running injuries.
If you experience any type of pain when running, don’t push yourself or you may aggravate the injury further. Feel free to give us a call to discuss your pain and to determine how we might be of service to get you pot there running again.