Knee, ankle, foot, and back pain are typical of incorrect running technique. Strengthen your hips to decrease the impact on your knees. Preparation and pre-hab can reduce foot and ankle pain, but strengthening the plantar fascia and fibulas longus is a better precaution. Heel strike sends immense recoil up the body causing lower back pain. Switch to a safe forefoot strike.
Many types of injuries walk through the doors of our office. From activities such as gardening to moving to prolonged sitting at a desk for work. There are also a lot of activity or sports-based injuries; such as yoga, weight-lifting, CrossFit, and running.
Running is one of the most widespread and popular activities that people participate in to stay active, and unfortunately, it is also one of the worse on your body when done incorrectly. Below is a breakdown of some of the more common injuries from running.
Running: Common Injuries And Treatment
There are many running-related injuries, and most of the time it boils down to poor biomechanics.
Knee pain, for example, often comes from weakness in the hips, primarily the gluteus medius. Weakness in this muscle causes your hip to drop and recruitment of less equipped muscles to compensate; usually the piriformis and tensor fascia lata.
You can roll out your IT band daily which will help the symptom of tightness, but won’t fix the problem of having a weak hip stabilizer (gluteus medius).
Ankle And Foot Injures
On the other end of the leg, the ankle and foot can have many and cause many common running injuries. Plantar Fasciitis, inflammation and tearing of the broad fascia on the bottom of your foot, can sideline a runner for months. Preparation and pre-hab is the best defense for this extremely painful injury.
The plantar fascia acts like a spring in your foot to help propel you forward. When the intrinsic muscle of the foot becomes weak and fatigued, more and more stress is put on the plantar fascia causing initially small tears that can worsen with extended use.
Strengthening the intrinsic muscles of the foot and fibulas longus (which holds up the arch of the foot) can greatly reduce your risk for this type of injury.
Lower Back Pain
Further up the chain, many people complain of low back pain from running. In these cases typically the runner is using a heel strike to contact the ground. This is bio-mechanically an incorrect way to run and sends an incredible amount of force up through the body.
You are essentially propelling yourself forward, and then slamming on the brakes with each stride. The kinetic energy that is transferred into the ground is directly relational to the force then sent up through the foot into the leg, knee, hips, and lower back. This force causes jamming of the facet joints, which leads to pain and muscle guarding.
Switch To Forefoot Strike
Running with a mid-foot or forefoot strike is a natural gait pattern that our bodies developed the tendons and musculature to achieve crossing long distances. When switching your running technique, it is necessary to ease into the new program slowly.
Switching from a heel strike to forefoot strike will take some time and discomfort, but will be well worth the decrease in injuries and increased ease and enjoyment of running, in general.