Sports & Running Injuries

Avid runner can experience a variety of injuries throughout their training. They range from mildly annoying to something requiring physical therapy or even surgery. To ensure that you take proper care of your body, make sure that you stretch properly, wear appropriate footwear and listen to your body telling you to rest.

A few common running injuries include:

Pulled Hamstring: A pulled hamstring is an injury to the hamstring muscle. It causes mild to severe pain in the area. Treatment includes immobilization and physical therapy.

Stress Fractures: Stress fractures of the hip are most common in long distance runners where there is a constant repetitive motion in the hip. Many runners also experience stress fractures of the tibia (shin bone), metatarsals, and calcaneus. All bones with abnormal stresses are subject to stress fracture. Treatment is typically a period of non-weightbearing followed by a period of inactivity. In severe cases or when the diagnosis is delayed, surgical treatment may be necessary. This condition can sometimes be difficult to differentiate from shin splints.

Shin Splints: Shin splints are areas of inflammation usually along the middle of the tibia (shin bone) between the knee and the ankle. This condition is caused by an overuse of the muscles which attach to the bone in the area of pain. Shin splints can be anterior (on the front/outside of the leg) or posterior (on the back/deep within your leg). These muscles and the tissues surrounding the bones become inflammed secondary to the overuse and pull of the muscle. This is usually caused by a biomechanical abnormality in the foot (the way the feet and legs function during activity) which leads to instability and overworking the muscles. Treatment addresses the instability with orthotics (shoe inserts) to control abnormal motion and the inflammation with anti-inflammatory medications.

Achilles Tendonitis: Achilles tendonitis is a painful condition of the tendon in the back of the ankle. This is typically caused by an overuse of the tendon or instability in the foot which leads to using the tendon in abnormal ways. It can also be the result of a chronically tight Achilles tendon complex, also known as equinus. Left untreated, Achilles tendonitis can lead to Achilles tendonosis, a chronic inflammatory condition in which the tendon tissue changes consistency to become thicker and weaker. The tissue can also harden to form bone within the tendon. This can lead to an increased risk of Achilles tendon rupture. This diagnosis typically gets delayed until after significant degeneration has taken place, requiring surgical intervention.

Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is a pain in the heel caused by inflammation of the thick ligament of the base of the foot. Plantar fasciitis can cause pain when walking or running, and lead to the formation of a heel spur. This is one of the most common injuries we treat and conservative treatment can quickly reduce or eliminate symptoms.

Arch Pain: Arch pain, also sometimes called a strain, often causes inflammation and a burning sensation under the arch of the foot.

Visiting your doctor at the Heart and Sole Podiatry prior to initiating exercise can help you learn ways to prevent the problems you may experience. We are dedicated to keeping you healthy in whatever activities you do!

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