They are very common especially to the lower extremity (from the lumbar spine downwards).
This is partly to do with the repetitive movement of the legs, hips, knees and ankles.
Some common training errors can lead to unnecessary injury, especially from overuse, increasing your run duration, or intensity too quickly.
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This can lead to imbalances in the system causing some muscles to become fatigued, tight or inactive. Running gait analysis is particularly useful to understand your running style and how this effects your joints. Running analysis is available in Southampton.
Common Running injuries include:
- Referred leg pain from the lumbar spine (main in the hamstring or calf)
- Hamstring tendinopathy
- Hip Bursitis (pain on the outside of the hip)
- ITB friction syndrome (Runners knee) see blog post http://the-recovery-room.co.uk/category/the-recovery-room-blog/
- Parellar tendinopathy (pain at the front of the knee)
- patellar femoral joint pain (pain at the front of the knee)
- Hamstring strain
- Calf strain
- Achilles Tendinopathy
- Plantar fascitis
As prevention is better than cure, keeping to the 10% rule (not increasing you run in intensity or duration of more than 10% per week) will reduce the risk of overload. A regular foam roller session or sports massage focusing on the leg muscles will improve recovery and take the pressure off joints. Strengthening the glute muscles will help to protect the knee and hip (as long as they are firing correctly- you may need to get this checked).
Stretching the leg muscles, especially the calf muscles , quads and ITB. Core strength can help improve running economy improving the integration of the lumbar pelvic muscles to the lower limbs.
Are you looking to go to a bare foot or minimalist running shoe?
- Increase duration slowly and start with shorter runs than your normal distance
- Stretch the calf muscles as the toe (forefoot) running style will put extra pressure on the Achilles tendon and calf muscle.
- Strengthen the calf by using calf raises or heel drops.
- Strengthen the toes and forefoot by using toe tapping or strumming techniques
- Enjoy your running and remember why you are doing it!