Common Running Injuries And How To Prevent Them

Running is a great exercise for a healthier lifestyle, to help you lose weight and gain muscle, and to relieve stress; and it is a good way to just get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Although it is a great exercise, it can take a toll on your body if you aren't properly prepared for the exercise. There are a number of injuries related to running that can happen to anyone. See below for some of these common injuries as well as ways you can help prevent them.

Common Running Injuries

  1. Groin Pull. This injury is caused from over-extension of the inner thigh muscles and is similar to a hernia. 
  2. Hamstring Strain. This is caused by improper stretching or warming up and feels like a sharp pain in the back of the thigh.
  3. Shin Splints. Shin splints is a pain on the front of your shin bone and is caused from a lack of conditioning and stretching.
  4. Calf Muscle Pull. A calf muscle pull is when the muscle in the calf pulls away from the Achilles tendon. When this pulling happens, you may actually hear a "pop" noise. It is caused from overuse and from improper stretching.

How To Prevent Injury

  • Warm up before running by taking a short walk.
  • Do stretches before running such as hamstring stretches, calf stretches, and quad stretches—simply pressing the toe of your foot against a wall can stretch your calf muscles, hamstrings can be stretched by touching your toes, and your quads can be stretched by pulling your leg behind you and up pulling it closer to your body and tucking your rear end under to really stretch that quad muscle.
  • Run on level surfaces, rather than rough terrain, which can be harder on your muscles, joints, and ligaments.
  • Finish your run with a short walk.
  • Lift weights on days you don't run to help strengthen your muscles, and don't run every day.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat properly to ensure you have the right nutrients for your muscles.

Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program. Also talk to your doctor if you end up with any of the running injuries listed above or have any other type of pain when running or exercising. Your doctor will know how to treat these injuries and get you back in shape and your body properly conditioned to be able to continue running and reaching your goals. 

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