Risky Running: A Look at the 7 Most Common Running Injuries [INFOGRAPHIC]

Post by Injinji

On August 11, 2015

In Blog

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65% of all runners are injured within a given year.

On average, every 100 hours of running = 1 running injury.

The average runner loses 5-10% of their year’s workouts due to injury.

Only 50% of running injuries are new, the other half are recurring.

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Runner’s Knee

Signs/Symptoms

  • Irritation of the cartilage under the kneecap

Prevalence

  • 40% of all running injuries are knee-related

Cause/Susceptibility

  • Any extra pressure on knee
  • Long runs
  • Extended sitting
  • Descending hills or stairs

Recovery Tips

  • Reduce mileage
  • Avoid downhill running
  • Train using: elliptical, bike, pool

Ongoing Preventative Tips

  • Shorten your stride
  • Land with knee slightly bent (takes up to 30% of pressure of joint)
  • Stretch your hip flexors
  • Strengthen glutes (lateral side steps, squats)

Just a Note

  • Take note of knee pain when walking, especially if it does not decrease as the day goes on.

Achilles Tendonitis

Signs/Symptoms

  • The tendon that connects your calf and heel becomes tight and irritated

Prevalence

  • Makes up 11% of all running injuries

Cause/Susceptibility

  • Dramatically increased training
  • Weak calves

Recovery Tips

  • Stop all running
  • Avoid cycling if it hurts
  • Apply ice regularly
  • Train using: pool, elliptical

Ongoing Preventative Tips

  • Do calf raises
  • Avoid excessive calf stretching
  • Avoid wearing high heels or flip-flops for long periods of time

Just a Note

  • You should consider seeking treatment if you experience severe pain and swelling.

Hamstring Issues

Signs/Symptoms

  • The muscle that runs down the back of your thighs and knees becomes tight or feels weak

Prevalence

  • 7% of runners report hamstrings bugging them in the past year (Runner’s World poll)

Cause/Susceptibility

  • Weak hamstring muscles
  • Extreme flexibility or inflexibility – overstretched or too tight
  • Quad muscles that are disproportional to hamstring size

Recovery Tips

  • Slow your pace
  • Avoid hills
  • Use a foam roller before and after runs
  • Consider getting a deep-tissue massage
  • Train using: bike, pool

Ongoing Preventative Tips

  • Strengthen hamstrings (one-legged deadlifts, bridges, etc.)
  • Wear compression tights when running to increase blood flow

Just a Note

  • Consider seeking treatment if you see bruising and experience a strong pain – it may be a more severe injury.

Plantar Fasciitis

Signs/Symptoms

  • The tendons and ligaments running from your heels to your toes receive small tears or inflammation
  • Feels like aching on the top of your foot or the bottom of your heel

Prevalence

  • 15% of all running injuries are foot-related

Cause/Susceptibility

  • Very high or very low arches
  • Pronation (foot rolls inward)
  • Supination (foot rolls outward)
  • Long periods of standing
  • Weak core strength

Recovery Tips

  • Ease up on running or take a break until fully recovered
  • Ice your heel, arch, or top of foot
  • Pull back toes to stretch arch
  • Use a foam roller
  • Train using: bike, pool

Ongoing Preventative Tips

  • Increase core strength (planks and back extensions)
  • Wear the proper shoes for your foot type
  • Stretch your arches

Just a Note

  • If pain proceeds even after you've warmed up, avoid running, rest instead.

Shin Splints

Signs/Symptoms

  • An achy feeling in your shins as a result of small tears in the surrounding muscles

Prevalence

  • Makes up 15% of all running injuries

Cause/Susceptibility

  • New runners or runners coming back from a long break
  • Running in a shoe that is too worn or inappropriate for your foot type
  • Extremely high arches or flat feet

Recovery Tips

  • Reduce mileage
  • Rest
  • Apply ice
  • Tape your shin
  • Train using: bike, pool

Ongoing Preventative Tips

  • Increase mileage gradually if you are a new runner or are coming back from a long break
  • Wear the proper shoes for your foot type

Just a Note

  • If it hurts simply to walk, then it could be a more serious injury and you may consider seeking treatment.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)

Signs/Symptoms

  • The band that runs along the outside of your leg from the hip to the knee becomes irritated and achy

Prevalence

  • Makes up 12% of all running injuries

Cause/Susceptibility

  • Increased mileage too quickly
  • Lots of downhill running

Recovery Tips

  • Reduce mileage
  • Avoid hiking and cycling
  • Use a foam roller
  • Train using: pool, elliptical

Ongoing Preventative Tips

  • Strengthen abductors (lateral side steps, side leg lifts, on-legged squats)
  • If running on a track, change directions every few laps
  • Limit hilly runs
  • Shorten your stride

Just a Note

  • Refrain from running if you experience pain simply when walking down stairs or down a hill.

Stress Fracture

Signs/Symptoms

  • A strain on your bone that results in an achy feeling in your shins, feet, or heels

Prevalence

  • 6% of runners experienced a stress fracture in the past year (Runner’s World poll)

Cause/Susceptibility

  • Drastic increase in mileage or speed
  • Nutritional deficits/ inadequate calorie intake

Recovery Tips

  • Take significant break from impact exercises
  • Pace yourself (even when walking)
  • Train using: pool

Ongoing Preventative Tips

  • Consume enough calories and nutrients
  • Weight train to improve bone density

Just a Note

  • If it's uncomfortable simply being on your feet, then you shouldn't be running – your body needs rest.

You are much more prone to injury if: you are a new runner or an experienced runner coming back from a long break.

So be cautious.

Wear the appropriate shoes and clothing.

And take care of your body.

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