Running is a popular activity with many helpful benefits for the body. Although this physical activity is part of a healthy lifestyle, there are common sports injuries that can occur. They are usually caused by improper foot wear, overuse and lack of stretching. Here is a list of the top 5 running injuries and a few helpful tips to prevent to them.

Top 5 Running Injuries

1. Achilles Tendonitis: Achilles Tendonitis is an inflammatory process in the biggest and strongest tendon of your body; it is very common and is caused by overuse or a sudden increase in the activity level. The tendon connects your calf muscles to your heel bone and can cause pain in the back of your leg.

2. Stress fractures: Tiny cracks in a bone, stress fractures occur due to significant and repetitive force and are commonly seen in long-distance runners. Symptoms that are caused by stress fractures are swelling, pain, and tenderness in the affected areas.

3. Runner’s Knee: A general term describing any damage or irritation to the cartilage under the knee cap. Runner’s knee is caused by a muscle imbalance in the thigh leading to repetitive stress and misalignment of the knee joint. Typically runner’s knee is associated with a dull pain in the knee, which can be aggravated while bending the knee.

4. Shin splints: Medial tibia stress syndrome or shin splints cause pain on the inner side of the shin, both during rest and exercise. It is due to excessive stress to the shins, which results in small tears in the muscles at their insertion on the shin bone.

5. Plantar fasciitis: This affects over 2 million patients every year and is the most common cause of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis occurs when there is too much stress on the plantar fascia the ligament that mainly supports the arch of the foot. This ligament is attached to the heel and when it is continuously stretched, it gets inflamed and very painful.

Preventive Tips:

Runners who are interested in reducing their risk of injury, here are some helpful tips to follow.

1. Listen to your body: Many of the most common running injuries are caused by overuse. Don’t push through the pain if your body is telling you to stop! Continuing will typically only worsen your condition.

2. Wear the right shoes: Selecting the right of shoes can play a huge part in injury prevention. Make sure to select a pair that respects the length and width of your feet. Buy for comfort, not just for looks. If your podiatrist recommends orthotics for your foot type, wear them in all your shoes.

3. Stretch: Dynamic stretches for example, lunges should be performed prior to exercise and static stretches for example, hamstring stretches after the run. 

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