The body moves in all three planes of motion when we run, which is from side to side, in rotations and forward and backward. The side to side helps to propel the body forward or backward and as you do this, you tend to also swing your arms forward and backward, creating rotation in the torso.
The rotation enables the spine, hips and legs to move. Although these movements help the body to temporarily overcome gravity in order to complete an activity, they can also help to absorb shock, or ground reaction forces by allowing the body move in the opposite direction of the pull of gravity.
The common injuries found in runners often result from musculoskeletal and movement imbalances by overuse. It is however important that you have an understanding of common injuries that, you may derive from running and know how to avoid them.
Below are some common injuries you should know.
1. Plantar fasciitis
This injury arises from inflammation, irritation or tearing of the plantar fascia, the flat band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. It could result from excess pounding on the road or strapping on un-supportive footwear which can lead to stiffness or a stabbing pain in the arch of the foot.
Wear your shoes with cushion, stretch your heels and get ample rest to help to soothe your sole. You may see a doctor to recommend other treatment options for you if the pain persists.
2. Runner’s knee
A tender pain around the kneecap is usually a sign of patell of emoral pain syndrome, knee pain originating from the contact of the posterior surface of the patella with the femur. This pain often results from the repetitive force of pounding on the pavement, downhill running, muscle imbalances and weak hips which puts extra stress on the kneecap.
It’s best you stick to flat or uphill terrain and make use of softer running surfaces when you can. Tap your knee or use a knee brace to sooth the pain, you can also take anti-inflammatory medications.
3. Achilles tendinitis
This is the swelling of the Achilles tendon, a tough band of fibrous tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone and can result from the use of improper footwear, tight calf muscles, a natural flat foot or rapid mileage increase.
Ensure you always wear supportive shoes that will make running much easier and stretch your calf muscles post-workout. For recovery, take anti-inflammatories, stretch your muscles and employ the R.I.C.E strategy, which includes, rest, ice, compression and elevation.
4. Iliotibial band syndrome
This syndrome results from the inflammation of the iliotibal band, a thick band of fibers that runs from the pelvic bone to the thigh and triggers pain on the outside of the knee. It often results from downhill running or weak hips and can be relieved by stretching the muscles to reduce inflammation and pain.
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