Common Running Injuries and Non-Surgical Treatment Options

With a high incidence of injury risks, wise runners remain mindful of how their bodies feel as they run to avoid the most common running injuries. Preventative measures can help avoid some of the more prevalent issues, such as foot injuries from running, back injuries, and ankle problems. Most injuries occur due to overtraining, running too often or too long. Kinetic Sports Medicine strives to assist both competitive athletes and recreational runners who may be experiencing activity-related injuries or pain so they can find relief without surgery.

Common Running Injuries

The lower extremities can take a beating if runners do not take care with how and when they run. Overuse injuries are common, especially if people ignore pain and try to run through it. Improper or worn-out shoes can be a common reason for some types of ankle injuries from running. Achilles tendinitis involves inflammation of the Achilles tendon. This injury causes pain in the back of the leg, just above the heel. Plantar fasciitis involves inflammation of the tendon traveling along the bottom of the foot, and a runner usually feels sharp pain in the base of the heel with this injury.

Many runners battle shin splints due to overtraining. Shin splints are a common and challenging shin injury. Running with shin splints can cause them to worsen into stress fractures of the tibia, which will result in severe pain. Runner's knee is a common knee injury. Running often irritates the cartilage that sits just under the kneecap, but some runners continue to run with this knee injury. Running may be possible, but reducing mileage and inserting extra rest days will be important for recovery.

Some people battle a hip injury from running. Feeling an ache in the outside of the hip while running could indicate bursitis. Bursitis is an inflammation of fluid-filled sacs in joints, and it often comes from overtraining. Some runners also feel a popping sensation in one or both hips when they run with bursitis. Another common issue for runners is calf injury. Running on many hills or on uneven surfaces could result in an overload of the calf muscles, which causes strains and inflammation. Taking the time to stretch adequately before and after running and wrapping the calf may help with pain.

Traditional Treatments

The treatments for these injuries depend on the specific type of injury and the extent of the injury. Many runners can continue to run with an injury, as long as they reduce their mileage, insert more rest days, and pay close attention to their symptoms. Icing the injury site, elevating the leg or legs, and taking anti-inflammatory medication may help alleviate symptoms. If the pain does not subside or worsens, it may be necessary to seek treatment from a physician. In severe cases, a physician may recommend surgery to repair damage of a tendon or joint.

Alternative Treatment

Innovative technology involves using a patient's own stem cells or blood platelets for non-surgical healing. These clinic procedures extract blood or stem cells from the patient and then inject either the stem cells or platelet-rich plasma taken from the patient's blood into the injury site to promote regeneration and recovery. This non-operative treatment is suitable for Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis as well as knee and hip injuries.

Dr. Richard Kim is a primary care sports medicine physician practicing with Kinetic Sports Medicine. The focus of our care is to offer non-operative treatments to address a multitude of sports injuries, including running injuries. These therapies can be effective and minimally invasive solutions to resolve injuries and pain. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.