Running injuries: How they happen and how to fix them


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Hannah Broadwell, Staff Reporter

As many of you probably know, running puts a lot of wear and tear on your body. Runners have to do a lot of things just to keep their bodies moving. If runners stop taking care of their bodies and don’t get the right foods or they stop drinking water, their body is going to break down. Their muscles aren’t going to be working like they should and when that happens it puts a lot more stress on the smaller muscle groups that people may not think about, which will more than likely lead to an injury. I’m here to tell you how to prevent that from happening and how to fix it if it does happen.

So, what exactly causes injuries? Things like, ramping up your weekly mileage too quickly, worn out shoes that don’t give you the support you need, not getting enough sleep/recovery time, having bad running form, running through pain and not stretching properly; causes tight muscles which affects your running form. All of these things are the most common causes of injuries in runners because runners don’t take them as seriously as they should. “I ran through what I thought was soreness for 1 ½ weeks”, says Kayla Turner( a runner on the xc team), “I thought it was normal.” It happens, when people first start running they don’t know the difference between pain and soreness. There are also people who  think that they don’t have to hold a stretch for at least 20 seconds because they don’t think that it will make that much of a difference but it does. 

Most runners make the same mistakes so most runners get the same injury. Some of the most common ones are shin splints, plantar fasciitis, patellar tendinitis, and ITB syndrome. All of these injuries are caused by: overuse, bad running form, or weakness of certain muscles, which leads to bad running form. Most serious injuries are caused by these same factors just taken to an extreme, Kayla says “ My hip avulsion fracture was caused simply by overuse.” Shin splints are by far the most common overuse running injury. Almost everybody gets them when they first start running if they’re not careful. Plantar fasciitis is when you feel stabbing pain/tightness in the arch of your foot. Patellar tendinitis is an overuse injury in the lower part of your knee; if you have it your knee will look swollen and you’ll feel some stiffness. ITB syndrome happens when your IT muscle, pelvic bone to your shins, gets tight and starts rubbing along the thigh bone; it gets irritated and that’s when you start to feel pain.

If you start feeling pain and you ignore it’s more than likely not going to get better. In fact, you ignoring it and pretending like it doesn’t exist is going to make it worse to the point where you can’t run, Kayla said, “ I was taken out 3 weeks into the season and I wasn’t cleared to come back until outdoor track tryouts 3 months later.”  If you do end up with an injury here is what you do to get better. First, seek professional help, sure your mom can tell you to put ice on it but people who specialize in sports injuries can give PT exercises and simple things to do to make running less painful. Physical Therapy can take awhile but it’s very helpful, Kayla was in PT for 6 weeks but she said “ I wouldn’t have been where I am now without it.” Second, ice the area that is hurting every night, you may not want to do it, but it’s going to help you in the long run.  Third, stop running, if something is hurting and it doesn’t feel right, running on it isn’t going to help matters. 

Once you’ve recovered it’s time to get back into the game! Going back to a sport that caused you so much pain and hurt can be scary, Kayla said  “ Coming back; I was terrified, the tiniest aches in my hip would send me into a nervous fit.” It isn’t always easy but if you did it once you can do it again. Kayla says “ I came back because I want to make people proud, I wanted to impress my past self and prove I’m capable of becoming better than I was before.”