Common Running Injuries

Runner’s Calf

This injury is characterised through pain on the back of your lower leg with an audible pop/popping sensation felt when running. As you run the calf muscles can lift the heel and propel you forward 1500 times, this can lead to the calves being tight and overused increasing the risk of injury.

Risk factors for this injury include limited or lack of a warm-up before you go for your run, an increase in your loading per week (sharp increase in the weekly mileage) or a sharp change of direction when running.

What should you do if you suspect you have Runner’s Calf?

For the first 48-72 hours following the injury you adhere to the P.R.I.C.E protocol. Initially, you should PROTECT the injury site to limit any further damage, after this, REST the area. During this you should ICE the injury for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time with a 2-hour gap in between each icing session; the ice should not be placed directly on the skin. For the most effective treatment with ice you should aim to use ice rather than the ice-packs you break before use. COMPRESSION can then further protect the injury site, whilst ELEVATION will help to limit the swelling in the area.

You should stop running altogether for at least two weeks depending on the severity of your injury. After the two weeks you should start stretching your calves and strengthen them by doing heel raises. If the problem persists for longer than you feel it should have, book in to see us and we will help to get you back doing what you love as soon as we can.

Runner’s Knee

When running you may feel pain either at the front of your kneecap, going around the knee or a feeling of pain behind the kneecap. This can be caused by swelling under the knee due to a sudden increase in mileage completed during your weekly routine.

How to help yourself?

To help with pain and swelling around your knee you can use ice. This should be done for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time with a minimum of 20 minutes in between each ice session. Following this stretching can help reduce the pain whilst you run. This can be done, for example, standing on the right leg and pulling the heel of the left foot up to your bottom. This should be held for 20-30 seconds and then you should switch legs. Complete this 3-5 times on each side.

If the pain still persists, then book a session so our therapist can formulate a treatment plan to get you back running pain-free.

Plantar Fasciitis

This is a condition that relates to a sharp pain that can often feel as though you are walking or running directly on stones or if someone is sticking something into your foot. This can be caused by sudden increase in your mileage, poor footwear (worn out soles or little to no support) and a lot of uphill running.

What is best thing for you do to?

Unlike the application of ice through a bag for the runner’s calf and knee the best application for this is to freeze a small water bottle. Place this bottle on the floor and put your injured foot on top of the bottle. Then proceed to roll it back and forth for 20 minutes; however, make sure the bottle is covered to prevent ice burn from direct contact of ice with the skin. Further to this, you can stretch your calf to ease any tightness that may cause further pain in the heel.

You should try and avoid taking anti-inflammatories for the first 72 hours, such as ibuprofen, as this can cause an increase in the time taken for the injury to heal. If the problem persists book in to allow us to help you get back to your best.