Treatment of Common Running Injuries of the Lower Limb

Understanding Running Injuries of the Lower Limb

Running-related injuries to the lower limb often stem from overuse, a result of pushing the body beyond its limits in terms of frequency, duration, or intensity. Recognizing the various types of injuries and their underlying causes is crucial for effective treatment and prevention.

1. Common Causes: Training Errors and Overestimation

Training errors, particularly overestimating one's baseline fitness level, are common culprits behind chronic overuse injuries. Athletes, especially when starting a new training regimen, may unknowingly subject their musculoskeletal system to excessive strain, leading to injuries.

2. Prevalent Injuries: Muscle Strains and Shin Splints

Muscle strains and exercise-induced leg pain, such as Shin Splints, often manifest at this stage. Muscle strains result from fatigue and metabolite accumulation during vigorous exercise, leading to pain and tightness in the affected muscle group.

3. Specific Injuries and Symptoms

In this section, we delve into the distinctive realm of running-related injuries, exploring the nuances of various conditions and their telltale symptoms. From hamstring tears to stress fractures, gain insights into the specific injuries that often afflict the lower limbs of runners, understanding the unique challenges each presents on the journey to recovery and prevention.

  • Hamstring Tears: Occurring along the muscle's length, hamstring tears cause tightness, swelling, bruising, and pain.

  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: Common among adolescents and young individuals, it involves pain around the kneecap, exacerbated by activities like descending stairs.

  • Achilles Tendonitis: Frequent in middle and long-distance runners, it may be caused by training errors, anatomical abnormalities, or improper footwear, leading to stress on the tendon.

  • Ankle Sprains: Common in sports and daily life, these occur when the ankle is twisted, causing ligament damage, bruising, swelling, and tenderness.

  • Plantar Fasciitis: Often affecting older runners, it results from overuse, causing stress on the bottom foot muscles and leading to conditions like "policeman's heel."

  • Thigh Muscle Injuries: Adductor Longus and Quadriceps are susceptible to tears, especially following lunging or repeated sprinting.

  • Stress Fractures: Common in the tibia and fibula, they occur due to repeated forces on the bone or muscle fatigue, leading to pain and swelling.

  • Iliotibial Band Syndrome: An overuse injury affecting marathon runners and cyclists, causing pain on the outside of the knee joint.

  • Popliteus Tendonitis: Seen in downhill runners and those with excessive pronation, presenting as pain and tenderness on the outside and back of the knee.

4. Preventing Recurrent Injuries: A Holistic Approach

Athletes can mitigate the risk of recurrent injuries by adopting a holistic approach to their training regimen. This includes participating in multiple sports, incorporating flexibility, strength, and endurance training, scheduling weekly rest days, considering training-intensive seasons, utilising various training techniques, and gradually increasing training time and distance.

For those facing injuries or seeking guidance on their training, consulting with podiatrists is advisable. By getting in touch, you can start a conversation with our podiatrists, who can offer insights, recommendations, and personalised strategies for injury management and prevention.

Kay Johnson-Lloyd

Kay Johnson-Lloyd

Cheshire Foot Clinic

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From Consultation to Treatment

What to Expect at Your First Podiatry Visit

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21A Tatton St, Knutsford WA16 6AE, UK

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