While running is a great way to keep fit, runners need to be aware of potential injuries that can occur if they don’t do it correctly.
Running is a sport that is growing in popularity in Singapore. Barely a weekend goes by without an organised run, be it a marathon or a fun run.
Unfortunately, as with any other sport, runners are vulnerable to injuries when they push themselves too hard. Some common injuries they face are:
1. Runner's knee
Runner’s knee occurs when the cartilage on the kneecap wears out. The pain is aggravated when going up and down the stairs, squatting, and sitting with the knee bent for extended periods.
2. Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome
Illiotibial band syndrome is the leading cause of knee pain in runners. This type of injury is characterised by pain on the outside of the knee while running. A runner may also experience pain on the outside of the hip. With this injury, a runner may notice the pain while running uphill or going up and down the stairs. He will also experience pain more on slower rather than faster runs.
3. Shin splint
This is pain that occurs in the front or inside of the lower leg along the shin bone (tibia). Shin splints are common after making a change to the workout — such as running longer distances or increasing the number of training days — too quickly.
4. Stress fracture
This is a small crack in a bone that causes tremendous pain and discomfort. It typically affects runners in the shin and feet. It is often due to overstressing the body before it has time to get used to a new activity. The pain worsens with activity and improves with rest.
5. Achilles tendinopathy
This is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which is a thick band of tissue that connects the calf to the back of the heel. Achilles tendinopathy gives rise to pain, swelling and stiffness in the tendon area, especially in the morning and with activity. It usually comes about due to repetitive stress to the tendon. Having tight calf muscles is also a contributory factor.
It is advisable to seek medical attention for acute and severe injuries as chronic injuries are harder to treat and may lead to long-term consequences.
This article is brought to you by Eu Yen Sang.