The first part of our guide to – in no particular order – the top 10 running injuries, including advice on how to recover and product suggestions to aid your rehabilitation. Part Two is here.
Refers to inflammation of the plantar fascia, a fibrous sheath which runs along most of the length of the sole of the foot and helpsˡct as a lever to push off the ground with force. Sufferers usually feel pain over the inside of the heel and down the inside of the sole, occurring with activity and also in the morning when taking the first steps of the day.
In most sporting individuals, the problem is overuse. Other issues can stem from the biomechanics of the foot, normally when the inner arch of the foot rolls over too much during walking and running.
To successfully treat Plantar Fasciitis you must address what is causing the inflammation. The best advice is to allow adequate rest in order to take the strain off and allow the affected tissue time to heal. For arch problems, using the correct insoles for your shoes is vital. Stretching the plantar fascia by pulling the toes towards the shin is also effective in encouraging the tissue to regain its normal alignment.
- Aircast Airheel: A lightweight and comfortable heel support which supplies pulsating compression with every step to help
reduce swelling and discomfort, providing pain relief.
- Spenco Ironman Total Support Max Insoles: These offer advanced arch support, and absorb shock and impact on the heel during the landing phase of each motion.
- Night Splint: Designed for prolonged stretch of the plantar fascia while you sleep to reduce morning pain.
Commonly known as Achilles tendonitis, this affects the Achilles tendon, which is situated above the heel and forms the lower part of the calf muscles. Itֳ the strongest tendon in the human body as it transmits the force from these muscles to produce the push-off during walking and running.
Achilles tendinopathy˩s a frequent source of Achilles pain which can also produce pain in the heel or lower calf, and is usually characterised by degeneration. It is often associated with running and generally caused by overuse, but itֳ more common in those aged over 40 as our ability to regenerate damaged tissues decreases as we get older.
Ice therapy is a very effective form of pain relief to alleviate the symptoms of a swollen Achilles tendon. Resting˦rom high-impact activities for up to three months is also important; in the meantime, non-impact training can maintain fitness.
- Ultimate Performance Ultimate Achilles Tendon Support: Relieves and heals the symptoms of Achilles tendinopathy by using a combination of compression and added stability.
- Mueller Pro Heel Cups: For the treatment and prevention of Achilles tendinopathy through shock absorption and stabilisation of the heel.
- Water Floatation Belt: Pool running is a good example of non-impact training, and using this belt reduces the stress of weight bearing on the injury during exercise
The action of the hamstring muscles is to bend the knee and extend the hip. This common injury usually occurs when the hamstring muscle is forcibly stretched beyond its limits and the muscle tissue becomes torn. It is classified by a first, second or third degree strain.
- First degree Рdamage to a few muscle fibres. Signs may not be present until after activity is over. May be a sensation of cramp or tightness and pain when the muscles are stretched or contracted. Should be rested for about three weeks.
- Second degree Рdamage to a more extensive number of muscle fibres. Immediate and more severe pain, confirmed by pain on stretch and contraction of the muscle. Usually sore to touch, and bruising will occur. Should be rested for between four to six weeks.
- Third degree Рcomplete rupture of the muscle itself. Immediate burning or stabbing sensation; the sufferer is unable to walk without pain. May be a large lump of muscle tissue above where the tear is situated. A bruise will appear below the injury site. Will need to be repaired surgically and the rehabilitation will take around three months.
Resting is strongly advised as it does not take much to increase the severity of the injury. During the first few days, the hamstring should be rested in an elevated position and treated with an ice pack. Once more active rehabilitation is started, gentle resistance exercises and stretching is advised as it helps to align the scar tissue which forms during the healing process.
- Elite Compression Core Stability Shorts: Specifically designed for the treatment and prevention of hamstring injuries, amongst others. The innovative cross-shaped elastic support system enhance performance and aid recovery.
- Resistance Band Exercise Loops Pack of 4, All Resistances: For rehab and training exercises. Muscles such as the hamstring are stretched and developed. Three different weights offer a gradual challenge and helpˢuild muscle strength.
- Pro-Tec The Orb Massage Ball: A multidirectional, deep tissue massage ball. Alleviates tightness and reduces muscle fatigue in areas such as the hamstring.
JUMPER’S KNEE (PATELLAR TENDINITIS)
The common term for patellar tendinitis, which refers to the strain and damage inflicted on the patella tendon ъthe point where the muscles at the front of the thigh converge and attach to the shin bone, located just below the kneecap. Its function is to transfer the force of the thigh muscles, which contract and result in the extension of the knee.
It occurs if running, jumping and landing activities are practiced too much Рso for runners, that means that downhill running or rough terrain may be a cause. The thigh muscles push the body up into the air and help control the landing when jumping, therefore microscopic damage to the tissue sustained by increased activity will get progressively worse if jumping activities are over-done.
As it comes on gradually it is often not identified straight away. If the tendon is painful, tender to touch and stiff first thing in the morning, it should not be ignored. Resting from running, jumping and impact activities for around three months is advised.
- Elite Jumper’s Knee Patella Strap: Helps provide relief from the symptoms of patellar tendinitis. The gel pad provides compression and the adjustable strap applies pressure.
- McDavid PSII Neoprene Hinged Knee Brace: Supports the natural gliding action of the knee through two hinges. A sewn-in patellar buttress relieves some symptoms of patellar tendinitis.
- Bauerfeind GenuTrain P3 Knee Brace: A comfortable, stretchy and breathable fabric to give effective compression to the knee. Relieves the pain of patellar tendonitis with a lightweight pad which surrounds the patella.
Remarkably, up to 40% of marathon runners suffer from blisters, with the heels, toes and balls of the feet the body parts which most commonly succumb to this irritating phenomenon. Blisters are caused by prolonged friction that produces a shearing force in between the layers of skin. As the layers of skin separate, they fill with fluid Рor blood, which creates a blood blister.
To help avoid blisters, you have to ensure your footwear is right for you. Your running shoes should be properly fitted and broken in gradually. Never wear new running shoes for a long run or a race.
If you develop a blister, clean it thoroughly before lancing it with a sterile implement, which can relieve pressure and pain. Once this has been done, itֳ important to keep the area clean to prevent infection.
- Compeed Blisters: Blister plasters absorb a woundֳ fluids and maintain a natural moisture balance, which makes them ideal for healing.
- 1000 Mile Ultimate Trainer Liner Socks: Its double-layer material keeps your foot comfortable and prevents blisters Рit even has a Blister Free Guarantee.
- Ultimate Performance Skin Shield: This semi-solid stick acts as a protective barrier for the skin and minimises occurrence rates of blisters and chafing.