Regular exercise is well known for its ability to keep you healthy and strong. However, you must keep in mind that not taking care of your body can result in common injuries, whether through accidents or having incorrect form.
For instance, you may sustain sprains of the ankle while running or even doing everyday tasks. As such, it’s crucial to learn about these types of injuries so you’ll know what to do if you ever experience these situations.
The following are some of the most common running injuries and how to treat them:
1. Ankle Sprain
This type of injury happens when you land your foot at an angle that twists or overturns your ankle. As a result, the ligaments overstretch in the joint between the foot and the leg.
There are ranges of ankle sprains depending on the severity of the misstep. Overstretching your ankle can cause dislocation between the leg and the foot. This comes with a lot of pain, and you won’t be able to walk until the twisted part is placed back to its normal position. You should also expect some swelling in the affected area.
After spraining your ankle, put some ice on it immediately for about 10 to 20 minutes. Repeat this for a couple of hours. Make sure that you also allow the area to rest to avoid freezer burn.
Take a break from running or doing any other activities that require you to put pressure on your feet. This way, you can allow yourself to recuperate quicker.
Furthermore, seek medical attention if you find yourself in this situation so that you’ll be able to determine the severity of your injury. This will allow you to determine how long you should rest. Medical practitioners will also give you the proper treatment and medicine to help you heal fast.
As you recover, do some light exercises gradually to help regain your mobility. Do this at low intensity and, as you get used to it with time, you can increase the pace bit by bit.
2. Stress Fractures
Stress fractures are small cracks on your bones that are believed to be caused by continuous weight stress or force on your lower limbs. The impact piles up as you run every day.
As such, if you ever feel pain and see swelling in one of the areas that can be affected by a stress fracture, go for an X-ray as soon as possible. This will help you to discover this injury early before making it worse.
If you have this type of injury, please make sure you rest for more than six weeks from running or any other activity that will put more stress on your foot. Using crutches or walking boots during this time would be ideal as well for hastening your healing. It will help to reduce the weight applied to the affected area.
3. Hamstring Injury
A common joint injury that may be caused by running is pulling or overstretching the hamstring muscles. When this happens, you will feel intense pain at the back of your thigh. These ligaments link the hip to the knee joint and enable the movement of these body parts when walking, climbing, jumping, and bending.
The critical action to take right after a hamstring strain is to rest the leg so as not to cause further pain. This can be followed by icing the affected area to reduce swelling and discomfort.
Avoid applying weight on the injured leg, and make sure to elevate it when resting. Additionally, use medication recommended by a doctor to reduce inflammation and pain.
In an injury of this nature, the muscles were usually overloaded with so much force. Common contributions to hamstring strains are:
- Not warming up properly
- Overworking the muscles during exercise
- Poor movement technique
4. ACL Injury
The ACL, also called anterior cruciate ligament, is a tissue located at the knee. This tissue connects the thighbone to the shinbone. The injury can occur in both non-contact and contact sports.
Non-contact ACL injuries occur when an athlete is pivoting, cutting, sidestepping, or landing awkwardly during a jump. The ligament becomes overstretched and torn when the athlete does a torque or rotational motion on a firmly rooted knee.
Contact ACL injuries, on the other hand, occur as a result of a direct contact blow to the knee from an object or another person. The individual might feel or hear a popping sound or sensation on the knee joint when the ligaments tear.
Causes of an ACL injury can be traced back to muscle weakness and the intensity of training the athlete is involved in.
For mild ACL injuries, a bit of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) can help you get back up and running in no time. However, for severe cases, you may need surgery and rehabilitative therapy. Moreover, you may not be able to run or exert as much effort on your lower limbs following a severe ACL injury.
These common running injuries can be sustained through slips and other accidents. You may also weaken your muscles and bones through improper form, which can lead to these injuries. You should be careful when exercising and equip yourself with the knowledge of how to treat them in case you or your loved ones experience these situations.