If you are an active runner or just active in general, you have probably experienced some sort of injury in the past. It can be hard to sit on the sideline for any amount of time when you are used to being up and running, biking or playing a sport. So what are some of the most common sports injuries and what can you do about it?
Common Injury types and how to avoid them
For runners, athletes, sports and recreational enthusiasts there are some common injuries that you will want to avoid. Here is our list for you to stay healthy.
1. Stress fractures
A stress fracture is a small crack in any of the weight-bearing bones of the body. Runners can get various stress fractures, but the most common stress fractures in runners, in order of occurrence are of the tibia, metatarsal, femur, fibula and navicular.
The main causes for stress fractures are an increase in impact loading and active forces through the bones. This is often due to drastic changes in intensity and mileage. Other causes are too much speed work, poor running form, low stride frequency which increases impact and push-off forces (elite runners have a stride frequency of 180/min), poor running shoes. Be aware of the wear pattern on your shoes and change shoes based on your mileage as high mileage wears down the support.
It is important to train wisely and build intensity and mileage gradually. The traditional recommendation for mileage or intensity increases is 10% per week. There is also the suggestion of taking “down weeks” every 3-4 weeks with a 10-20% drop in mileage. Another suggestion is increasing mileage by 20-30% every 3-4 weeks with no change of mileage in the intermittent weeks. Whichever recommendation you use, listen to your body for signs of stress.
Booking an appointment with one of our physiotherapists trained in running assessments can help you keep those shoes laced!
2. Plantar Fasciitis
Pain on the sole of your foot or your heel, especially when you first get out of bed in the morning or when you walk barefoot can be debilitating.
Common causes: running, high foot arches, overweight/increased body mass index, prolonged standing especially on hard surfaces, decreased ankle flexibility, and strength.
Address the above causes and have your physiotherapist assess you and determine a cause and treatment plan
3. Ankle Strains and Sprains
Common causes of ankle sprains and strains are muscle imbalances (strength and flexibility) and poor proprioception (the body’s ability to sense movement within joints and joint position, especially knowing where our limbs are in space without having to look).
Addressing the above with strength training, flexibility and proprioceptive exercises will go a long way in reducing your risks of sprains and strains. The use of taping techniques and bracing can assist you during your rehabilitation phase. Your physiotherapist will also be able to test your risk of re-injury/sprains and guide your return to running or your sport.
4. Achilles Tendon Injury
Achilles tendon injuries are common, not only in runners. The Achilles tendon is the longest tendon in the body. There are many causes of Achilles tendon injuries:
- Overuse/drastic changes in intensity/duration e.g running, walking, hiking
- Wearing high heels frequently causes shortening and stresses on the tendon
- Flat feet/ pronated feet
- Muscle imbalances in strength and length
Addressing the above issues can reduce your risk of Achilles tendonitis. Booking an appointment with one of our physiotherapists to assess you and provide interventional strategies will keep you running.
5. Knee Pain
Knee pain is a very common problem in runners. Here again, muscle imbalances (strength and length) are common culprits. It is important to note that these imbalances can be in the hip, knee or ankle. Have your physiotherapist assess you to rule out ligamentous or meniscial injuries.
What can you do about your injury?
R.I.C.E. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation the first intervention for any injury is often good advice.
Early intervention by a physiotherapist will help get those shoes laced sooner and you back on the track again. So call us now to book an appointment. 403-282-8050. If you feel the injury is somewhat serious then do not hesitate to book an appointment right away.