The high-impact nature of this activity puts runners at risk for a variety of hip, leg, knee, foot, an ankle injuries.
Hip and thigh injuries can include:
- Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome (inflammation of the tendon that runs along the outside of the upper thigh)
- Snapping hip syndrome (a "snapping" noise and sensation when the hip is flexed and extended)
- Stress fractures
Knee injuries can include:
- Cartilage injuries
- Kneecap dislocation
- Meniscal tears
- Patellofemoral syndrome (a thinning and softening of the shock-absorbing cartilage under the kneecap)
- Plica syndrome (inflammation of the plica, a fold in the lining of the knee joint)
Foot and ankle injuries can include:
- Achilles tendonitis
- Ankle sprain
- Plantar fasciitis (heel pain due to inflammation of the thick ligament of the base of the foot)
Running Safety and Injury Prevention Tips
- If you're just starting, plan a progressive running program to avoid overuse injuries.
- Do a 5-minute warmup (walking or another low-impact activity) before every run, and always remember to stretch before and after.
- Select a running shoe with good stabilization and shock-absorbing features, and replace your shoes every 250-500 miles.
- Avoid running on concrete if possible, as its hardness causes more shock to the joints; asphalt is better, and dirt or grass is best.