Top 10 Running Injuries – that Could Put You on the Sidelines

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running injuriesIn order to prevent running injuries, you have to be aware of the strain running places on different parts of your body.

Running helps relieve stress and soothe the mind, and it is a great way to keep your body low on fat and high on lean muscle. Unfortunately, it is also a disciplined sport that can take a toll on your body with time.

Following is an overview of the top ten injuries that runners often experience. Learn about them, so you can prevent them from sidelining you during the next big race.

#1: Achilles Tendonitis

Your Achilles tendon is located at the back of your ankle and is designed to connect and coordinate your ankle and your calf. It is very vulnerable to injury when running, since it collects a lot of the force when your weight comes down on the foot. You will notice pain in the back of the heel when this tendon has been strained.

This is one of the more serious overuse running injuries that needs to be treated as quickly as possible. It can lead to rupturing of the Achilles tendon.

#2: Ankle Sprains

Inside your ankle, there is a joint surrounded by flexible ligaments.

The ligaments are there to help the ankle joint move when you are going through daily life or hitting the road for your run.

When the ankle is turned at an unnatural angle and body weight comes down on it, those ligaments can pull or twist. This brings on an ankle sprain that can be quite painful.

#3: Blisters

Most runners will suffer from blisters at one time or another. They are not a serious problem that you have to see a doctor to treat, but some effort should be given to preventing them. They can certainly make your runs more uncomfortable and may give you an excuse to blow off a running session.

#4: DOMS

DOMS stands for delayed-onset muscle soreness, and refers to that soreness you feel when you first take on running; or perhaps after an intense run where you really stretch your comfort zone to get a longer distance. This is a good type of soreness that shows your body has been challenged and is adjusting to the increased demand.

#5: Hamstring Injuries

Your hamstring muscles run down the backside of your thighs. They are at risk for overuse injury when running, since you place a lot of demand on them for proper running stride.

Injuries can include sprains, pulls, and ruptures. It is important to protect your body against these injuries, since they can put you on the sidelines for up to a month.

#6: Muscle Cramps

A cramped muscle is caused by the contraction of the muscle. A spasm can be so intense that it tense up and has to be manually relaxed back out. The muscles in the legs and feet are vulnerable to cramping when running and after running, so runners have to know what to do when they come on.

Muscle fatigue, improper conditioning, and fatigue are three potential causes of cramping that may affect runners.

#7: Overtraining Syndrome

This is one of the easiest running injuries to avoid. The syndrome sets in when you train too hard, push the body too fast, and do things that are unhealthy for your body during training. You will know it is setting in when you are going all out, but your results are getting worse rather than better. You may also feel exhaustion and fatigue with more aches and pains in your muscles than usual.

It is best to learn the initial symptoms of this syndrome, so you can ease off the running if you are starting to get into trouble. That is always better than pushing yourself to the point of complete fatigue and exhaustion.

#8: Plantar Fasciitis

If you get out of bed in the morning and find it painful to put weight down on the bottom of your heel, you are probably suffering from plantar fasciitis. The injury or strain is to a band of tissue underneath the ankle, which is charged with supporting the arch of the foot.

Since the tissue is not flexible and takes a lot of the strain when weight comes down on the foot during running, it can become injured which leads to pain. You may notice that this pain comes and goes, as it tends to ease when you are not very active and return when activity resumes.

#9: Shin Splints

Your shins are on the bottom front part of your leg and contain some soft connective tissues that can become injured while running. There are actually a variety of running injuries that could cause pain to this part of the body, but they are typically lumped together as shin splint injuries.

They are considered overuse running injuries, since they develop from the constant pressure and tension of repetitive activity. Since running is very repetitive and does place pressure on this area of the leg, shin splints are common runner injuries.

#10: Stress Fractures

Stress fractures can develop in the muscles throughout the legs when running becomes too intense for the body. They are often confused with shin splints, since both cause pain in the lower portion of the leg. The difference is that stress fractures tend to affect different muscles in the lower legs and may not come with severe paint at first.

This is an overuse running injury that can develop slowly over time. If you educate yourself on the initial signs, you may be able to catch it early in the development phase and lay off the training before it becomes worse.


All runners should familiarize themselves with the signs of all running injuries on this list. If most are caught early they are much easier and faster to correct. This may mean less time sitting on the sidelines watching all the other runners out there having fun.

Runners who pay attention to proper form and do not try to push themselves too hard too fast have a very high chance of avoiding many overuse running injuries on this list.

Do you want to get more tips on how to prevent and cope with running injuries? You should give Running Doc’s Guide to Healthy Running, written by Lewis Maharam, definitely a try!

Read more about this topic on the following pages:

The Runner’s Guide to Achilles Tendonitis
The runner’s guide to Achilles tendonitis. Learn everything about the common causes, treatment options and how to prevent ankle sprains.

The Runner’s Guide to Ankle Sprains
The runner’s guide to ankle sprains. Learn everything about the common causes, treatment options and how to prevent ankle sprains.

The Runner’s Guide to Blisters
The runner’s guide to blisters. Learn everything about the common causes, treatment options and how to prevent blisters.

The Runner’s Guide to DOMS
The runner’s guide to DOMS. Learn everything about the common causes, treatment options and how to prevent delayed-onset muscle soreness.

The Runner’s Guide to Hamstring Injuries
The runner’s guide to Hamstring Injuries. Learn everything about the common causes, treatment options and how to prevent hamstring injuries.

The Runner’s Guide to Muscle Cramps
The runner’s guide to muscle cramps. Learn everything about the common causes, treatment options and how to prevent muscle cramps.

The Runner’s Guide to Overtraining Syndrome
The runner’s guide to overtraining syndrome. Learn everything about the common causes, treatment options and how to prevent overtraining syndrome.

The Runner’s Guide to Plantar Fasciitis
The runner’s guide to Plantar Fasciitis. Learn everything about the common causes, treatment options and how to prevent Plantar Fasciitis.

The Runner’s Guide to Shin Splints
The runner’s guide to Shin Splints. Learn everything about the common causes, treatment options and how to prevent Shin Splints.

The Runner’s Guide to Stress Fractures
The runner’s guide to Stress Fractures. Learn everything about the common causes, treatment options and how to prevent Stress Fractures.

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