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Running: The 5 Most Common Injuries

There are many benefits to those who make running a regular part of their lives. Running provides an outlet for stress, and it helps runners to lose weight and feel better about themselves. But while running can be rewarding, it can also be dangerous. A careless approach to running can lead to injury, negating all of those benefits that running provides. Here are the five most common injuries you’ll encounter as a runner, as well as some tips for avoiding these ailments.

Plantar Fascitis

While Plantar Fascitis afflicts people of all shapes and sizes, it’s an injury that’s commonly associated with running. Plantar Fascitis is frequently caused by feet that aren’t strong enough to handle the frequent pounding of running, although subpar footwear and overtraining can also play a factor. The injury affects the heel area, making it excruciatingly difficult to walk.

The best way to avoid this injury over the long term is to strengthen your feet by performing stretching exercises. For short-term relief, orthotics and shoe inserts can help you to alleviate your suffering.

Runner’s Knee

Like Plantar Fascitis, runner’s knee isn’t unique to running. But it’s a common injury that many runners must deal with. Runner’s Knee is caused by inflammation in the knee, which is a result of knee tissue being unable to quickly heal itself. Unignorable knee pain is the most obvious sign of Runner’s Knee, although difficulty going down stairs and stiffness when the knee is bent for a long time are also signs of this ailment.

Runner’s knee is frequently caused by overuse, so taking a break from running is the best way to silence knee pain. Over the long haul, runner’s knee can be avoided by strengthening your knees and running with proper form.

Shin Splints

There’s no way to sugarcoat it – Shin Splints hurt. A lot. The most common definition of Shin Splints is a small fracture in the shin bone, which causes tremendous pressure and pain any time a step is taken. The most common cause for Shin Splints is overuse, particularly when increasing your distance or the number of days you run in a week.

Rest and stretching are the best ways to cure shin splints after they occur. But the best way to beat Shin Splints is to avoid it altogether. Be sure to build your distance and endurance slowly, and make sure your running shoes have some tread left in them.

Achilles Tendonitis

As the name suggests, Achilles Tendonitis is an injury that attacks the calf and heel area. The injury is typically caused by overuse, with tight calf muscles and worn-down running shoes also playing a role. Achilles Tendonitis is a tricky injury because of the distance between the Achilles Tendon and your heart, which makes recovery a rather lengthy process.

Beating Achilles Tendonitis requires rest, but strong calves will be less susceptible to this ailment. Stretching the calf muscles and strengthening your lower legs will help you to steer clear of Achilles tendonitis.

Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis

Similar to Achilles tendonitis, Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis affects the lower leg. But Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis affects the entire lower leg from the knee to the ankle and foot, making this a significantly more dangerous injury. It exerts most of its damage on the foot, especially the middle area, which feels pressure as you put weight on your toes. A tell-tale sign of Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis is the inability to rotate your foot inward or outward.

Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis is generally caused by overuse. However, it’s mainly a result of the tibialis posterior tendon degenerating, as opposed to mere inflammation. Ice and stretching will help you to quell this ailment for the short term, while massages and even surgery may be necessary in more advanced cases.


Running is a healthy and rewarding activity, but it poses risks to those who don’t learn how to avoid common injuries. To learn more about preventing common running injuries, read these tips from Dr. Nilssen.