Common running injuries: What to watch out for

Whether you are new or a seasoned runner, there are injuries that can occur. Several types of injuries can effect different areas of your body and will determine if you need to take a break from running.

While there are droves of injuries that can happen, some stand out as the most common. Lower leg, skin, bone and ligamanet damage are caused by the repetitive nature of running and have a tendency to take place with casual to athletic runners.

Watch out for running injuries. / Marykbaird

Shin Splints
Pain on the inside, lower leg is called a shin splint. The term "shin splints" are used for many pains in the lower front portion of the leg, but this injury is very common in runners. It is an inflamed sheath that surrounds the tibia bone. It can cause swelling, as well as lumps or bumps along the shin. Ice is one alternative to relieve the soreness and swelling, but it will take time to heal shin splints; especially if you plan on running with it. Choose to run in a pool to reduce the pressure on your legs until your shin splints heal some.

New shoes along with the repetitive movement of running can cause blisters to form anywhere along the foot. Some blisters are very painful and are created from shoes that do not fit correctly or have not been adequately broken in. Choose shoes in the correct size and use Vaseline or powder to prevent excessive traction to decrease the chance of blisters.

Ankle Sprains
Uneven ground, pot holes and cracks in the running terrain can be the reason behind a sprained ankle. Stepping on small rocks or planting the food in an odd fashion on the ground is also cause for a sprain. The sprain occurs when the ligaments and tendons around the ankle are torn or stretched because of abnormal amounts of stress. This can take several weeks and even months to heal. Add ice immediately to the sprain once it happens.

Stress Fractures
Stress fractures, also known as fatigue or hairline fractures, are very common in runners. Due to the repetitive movement, ground impact, contractions of the muscles attached to the bone and body weight; these fractures can crop up in areas such as the feet, thighs, lower legs, toes and ribs. These small cracks in the bone are painful and should be rested to aid the healing process.

Athlete's Foot
Athlete's foot is a fungus that causes open lesions usually between the toes. Fungus thrives in warm and moist areas, which is why the toes suffer the most; although Athletes foot can affect the soles, also. It can worsen to blistery, weepy lesions that have a foul smell if not cared for properly. Athlete's foot can spread from person to person and is found in areas such as pools, locker rooms and showers. Runners are prone to Athlete's foot due to the amount of moisture in socks and shoes, but anti-fungal sprays and powders are available to relieve and eliminate the problem.

Sources: Runners Rescue
Sources: Sports Injury Clinic

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Updated Wednesday, Apr 27, 2011