What types of injuries should runners be on the lookout for when training?
1. Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome
Symptoms: Pain on outside of the knee, particularly when running downhill.
Possible causes: Running on a camber, or having one leg longer than the other, weak gluteus medius muscles, excessive hill running.
Fix and prevention: Ice, massage and stretch the ITB. Try Pilates to strengthen gluteal muscles.
2. Shin splints
Symptoms: Pain in shin.
Possible causes: Running on hard surfaces, over-training.
Fix and prevention: Rest and when you resume, stick to sand or grass running, or try low-impact cross training like swimming and cycling.
3. Plantar fasciitis
Symptoms: Painful sensation under the heel, usually on the inside and sometimes on the arch.
Possible causes: Over-pronation, very tight calf muscles, poor trainers.
Fix and prevention: Roll the arch over frozen bottles of water or over a golf ball. Stretch the calves. See a physio to get the foot taped to help support and rest it.
4. Achilles tendonitis
Symptoms: Pain and swelling in the Achilles tendon or back of the heel.
Possible causes: Tight calves, increased the volume and intensity of your training too quickly, having flat feet or feet that turn in when walking.
Fix and prevention: Rest and ice. Don’t increase your training by more than 10 per cent a week and have a chill-out week each month. Stretch and strengthen legs once inflammation has settled.
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