Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/29/2014 -- It’s common practice for avid runners to avoid signs of injury and to just keep training. Both athletes and recreational runners alike behave in this fashion, and sometimes the results can sideline their exercise routines for weeks or months if left untreated. For runners to avoid this and make sure they can keep up with the intensity of their training program, they should watch for these three common injuries and treat them as soon as symptoms appear.
The Achilles tendon runs from the heel up to the ankle, and can cause a great deal of pain when it becomes inflamed. Runners commonly experience achiness in this tendon, but when that achiness turns into actual pain the run should stop and treatment should stop. To stretch and rehab this area, perform heel drops by standing on a raised surface and lifting the body up to the balls of the feet, then slowly lowering the weight down so the heel sinks below the ball of the foot to stretch this tender area. Other forms of treatment include ice and elevation, and if pain persists it’s time to visit a physician for a more thorough analysis.
The IT band runs along the side of the hip, and even though runners are trained to move in a straight forward and back motion, these side muscles still get a work-out and are prone to inflammation. This is usually caused by hip and glute weakness, and experts recommend working to strengthen these muscles on non-running days through weight lifting exercises and gentle stretches. Foam rolling is also an effective technique for loosening tight IT bands and increasing overall flexibility in the hips.
Finally, runners are extremely prone to plantar fasciitis – which is pain that runs from the heel to the toes. This often sidelines runners for weeks at a time, but with proper preventative training it needn’t interrupt a running program. Adding cross-training and off days in-between runs can give the tissues a rest, and wall stretches for the calves and ankles can help release tension. Massage is also beneficial for this area of fascia as well as other areas inside the body. A tennis ball is an effective tool for massaging this small area.
By staying on top of common running injuries, both athletes and those who run for fun can stay on their path and reach their goals injury free.
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