Last week, we shared the first five running injuries that up to 70% of runners, whether recreational or competitive, may experience each year . If you missed it – check it out here. Today, we’re finishing off our top ten list so you better understand what your risks are, how they’re caused, and when you should seek help.
As podiatrists that work with a large number of runners, we know you may have countless questions like:
- How do I tell if it’s nothing or something that can turn serious?
- Should I be running through the pain?
- What can I be doing at home to treat the problem?
- What exercises can I do to continue running?
- Are my shoes a part of the problem?
- How can I stop the pain from coming back?
All My FootDr podiatry centres have a comprehensive understanding of sports medicine, running, and the forces that your body is exposed to every time you hit the road or the track. If you have a problem, book in for a personal consultation so we can give you the right answers for your pain and body.
Feeling pain at the bottom of your kneecap and the top of your shins? It may be patellar tendonitis.
Often referred to as jumper’s knee, this knee pain develops when the patellar tendon – the tendon that runs across the kneecap (patella) and attaches to the top of the shin bone – is inflamed. Inflammation, damage and the associated small tears in the tendon occur from overusing the knee, particularly in activities that repetitively and excessively bend and straighten the knee – just like running.
Seek help when: When you notice pain below and around your kneecap, as well as pain on bending and straightening the knee.
Getting pain or swelling alongside the inside edge of your knee? You may have an inflamed bursa.
Bursitis simply means the inflammation of a bursa – a cushion-like fluid-filled sac that is present in many areas of your body to separate tendon and bone, preventing them from (painfully) rubbing against one another. You have four bursae in and around your knee joint, and when they are exposed to excess pressure, they become inflamed and painful. This can be caused by anything from tight muscles like the hamstrings, to over-training, to changes associated with the knee joint (like osteoarthritis) and more.
Seek help when: Pain and inflammation develop at the knee joint (the specific location depends on which bursa is inflamed), with the pain exacerbated when pressing on the inflamed site. The knee may also appear red, feel tight, and it may be difficult to walk up and down stairs.
Rolled out onto your ankle and now experiencing pain when weight-bearing? It’s likely that you’ve sprained your ankle.
It’s safe to say that most of us have experienced an ankle sprain at some point in our lives – whether it has been related to running or not. When we forcefully roll onto the outside or inside of our ankles, whether that’s from poor footwear support, running over uneven ground or something else, we damage our ankle ligaments. These ligaments have an important role – keeping the ankle steady, stable and efficiently moving forwards with every step. Injuring these ligaments is not only painful, but can also severely affect our ability to walk and bear weight on the injured foot – let alone run.
Seek help when: You have any difficulty weight-bearing, experience pain at the ankle that affects your movement, or feel any weakness, stiffness or instability at the ankle. Untreated ankle ligament injuries can lead to chronic ankle instability – so proper care is a priority.
Getting pain at the back of your heel that may radiate upwards and is exacerbated by running or going up on your toes? You may have injured your Achilles tendon.
Of all the tendons in your body, your Achilles is the strongest, and is exposed to some of the greatest loads and pressures. When walking, your Achilles can take up to four times your body weight – and when running, this can go up to 7.5 times, if not more . When you go too hard too fast, you may injure your Achilles tendon at its most vulnerable point – where it attaches to the back of the heel bone.
Seek help when: You’re getting pain at the back of your heel that is exacerbated by walking or running. When Achilles tendonitis is not effectively managed, it can progress to a longstanding tendinopathy where the tendon undergoes longstanding degenerative changes.
You know ‘em. If you’ve got painful, red, fluid-filled (or not) pockets around your feet and toes after a run, particularly in areas that rub against the shoe, then you’ve almost certainly got a blister.
We’ve saved this one until the end because – let’s face it – blisters are probably considered to be the least serious of all ten running injuries we’ve discussed. But. When you’ve got a running event on – or you just want to be able to walk normally for the next few days without wincing in pain – blisters can be extremely debilitating. Plus – think of it this way. When you’re avoiding pain from a blister during a run, you’ll change the way you run. When you do this, you can overload other muscles, tendons and joints, leading to irritation and potential injury. So blisters can have a big effect! Prevention is key here – so make sure you’re equipped with the right shoes and socks that wick moisture away from the feet.
Seek help when: While you don’t need to see us for a regular blister, if your blisters show any signs of infection like thickened discharge, swelling and increased pain, do get in to see your podiatrist ASAP. Any infections can lead to serious complications and require effective management – or even hospitalisation.
My FootDr Have Clinics Australia-Wide
If you’re being held back from running safely and comfortably, My FootDr has clinics across Australia to help you perform at your best. Book your appointment by calling us on 1800 FOOTDR or booking your appointment online here. You can find your nearest My FootDr podiatry centre here.