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Common running injuries and how to prevent them

Running is a great way to stay fit, relieve stress and enjoy the outdoors. However, like any physical activity, it comes with the risk of injury. Whether you are just starting your running journey or are a long-time runner, understanding the most common running injuries and how to prevent them is essential for staying healthy and injury-free. In this blog post, we will look at different types of running injuries and provide tips for prevention.


1. Runner’s knee (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)

Runner’s knee is a common overuse injury characterized by pain around the kneecap, especially when doing activities like running, squatting, and climbing stairs. It typically occurs due to overuse, biomechanical issues, or muscle imbalances. Factors such as excessive mileage, sudden increases in training intensity, improper footwear, and poor running mechanics can contribute to the development of this injury.

Prevention tips:

  • Incorporate regular strength training exercises into your routine to build strength and stability in the muscles surrounding the knee. Focus on exercises targeting the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes.
  • Warm up before running- incorporate dynamic stretching.
  • Gradually increase your mileage and training intensity to allow your body to adapt gradually.


2. IT band syndrome:

IT band syndrome is an overuse injury that causes pain on the outside of the knee or hip. It occurs when the iliotibial band, a thick band of tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh, becomes tight or inflamed.

Prevention tips:

  • Perform regular foam rolling or self-myofascial release to reduce the tightness in the IT band and neighbouring soft tissue.
  • Stretch the IT band, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf regularly.
  • Avoid running on uneven surfaces or downhill slopes, which can aggravate the IT band.
  • Strengthen the hip abductors and Gluteus Medius muscles to improve hip stability and reduce the strain on the IT band.


3. Shin splints

Shin splints are a common running injury characterized by pain along the inner side of the shinbone. It is caused by overuse of the anterior tibialis muscle or improper running mechanics.

Prevention tips:

  • Gradually increase running mileage and intensity to allow your body to adapt gradually.
  • Strengthen the muscles of the lower leg, especially tibialis anterior and calf muscles.
  • Warm up well before and stretch after running. Focus on calves and tibialis muscles.
  • Ensure your footwear is familiar, in good condition and fits well with plenty of room for your forefoot.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms or have been diagnosed with these injuries contact ProActive Rehab at 705-788-1480  and book an assessment with one of our Physiotherapists or Athletic Therapist. For more information, or the answers to your questions, please reach out to us by phone or email and one of our professionals will be pleased to help.