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6 Ways to Avoid the Most Common Running Injuries

ways to avoid running injuries

Running on a regular basis comes with a host of health benefits. Beyond that, many people use running as an enjoyable, relaxing, and productive way to spend time. Sometimes, though, running can affect the body in a negative way. These injuries are generally preventable with a little care.

In this article we’ll go over the most common injuries you may experience as a result of running and then go over some steps you can take to avoid them.

Most Common Running Injuries

  1. Shin Splints

    Pain on the inside or front of your shin bone (tibia).

  2. Stress Fracture

    A very small crack in the bone. When related to running, it’s generally a crack in the shin bone or one of the bones in the foot.

  3. Sprained Ankle

    tear or stretch of the ligaments surrounding the ankle joint.

  4. Runner’s Knee

    The kneecap is out of alignment.

  5. IT (Iliotibial) Band Syndrome

    Inflammation caused by the IT band (a ligament that runs along the outside of the thigh from the hip to the knee) thickening and rubbing the knee bone.

  6. Blisters

    Fluid-filled sacks on the surface of the skin caused by friction. With running, it’s often the result of improperly fitting shoes or socks.

  7. Muscle Pull

    A small tear in the muscle.

  8. Plantar Fasciitis

    Inflammation of the tissue that extends from the heels to the toes (plantar fascia).

  9. Achilles Tendonitis

    Inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which attaches the calf to the back of the heel.

  10. Temperature-Related Injuries

    Any injury caused by the climate such as sunburn, heat exhaustion, frostbite, or hypothermia.

Best Ways to Avoid Running Injuries

  1. Listen to your body

    When it comes to exercise, your number one indication of whether something is right or wrong for you is how your body feels. A little soreness after a workout is normal, but lasting pain is not. Ease into new workout regimens and be on the lookout for signs signaling whether a workout is right or wrong for you.

  2. Stay hydrated

    There are an almost innumerable amount of benefits associated with being properly hydrated. Keep your body in good shape by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your run.

  3. Note the weather

    Is it cold, hot, sunny, windy, or rainy? All types of weather have benefits and drawbacks. Make sure that you’re dressed appropriately before you step out the door.

  4. Warm up and stretch

    If you start out hard without any stretches or warm ups, your muscles won’t be ready. Stretch before, during, and after your run. Start out a little slower than normal for the first couple minutes to wake up your muscles and avoid strains.

  5. Wear proper shoes

    With running, the shoes can make all the difference. Make sure your shoes are breathable, lightweight, and fitted to your feet. Many running and fitness stores will offer custom-fitted shoes which provide a greater level of comfort and support than shoes straight off the rack.

  6. Cross train

    Running is great exercise, but it works specific parts of the body harder than others. As with all types of exercises, doing one thing too much with no variance can increase your risk of injury. Try mixing in other types of exercises such as weight training or yoga to avoid overusing any body parts.

When all is said and done, get out there and go for a run! Taking the proper precautions before and after your run can help guarantee that you won’t be hanging up your running shoes any time soon.

If you’ve sustained an injury in your foot from running, it’s important to see a foot doctor as soon as possible. Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine is proud to have a team of dedicated and practiced orthopaedic surgeons and physical therapists on staff, ready to get you back up and running in no time. To see an orthopaedic specialist, request an appointment online or give us a call at 904-825-0540.


Dr. McClone - Sports medicine doctor St. AugustineCasey McClone, MD
Board Certifications in Family Medicine and Sports Medicine. Dr. McClone specializes in treating musculoskeletal pain for patients of all ages with ultra-sound guided injections.