ACHES & PAINS | A Step by Step Guide for Runners

| 13/05/2012 | 0 Comments More

Common Injuries:

Injuries and running can often go hand in hand, every runner at some stage will get some aches and pains but with a bit of knowledge can help you treat painful symptoms and prevent in the first place.  With an increased self awareness, you can prevent serious injury and have some great running experiences.


REMEMBER Though, if any injury does persist, go see your GP.


  • Where it hurts | Outside of the upper leg and/or the outside of the kneecap.
  • Caution | If injury persists, see your GP
  • How it feels | Pain on the outside of the knee or upper leg.
  • Causes | Often associated with running on track or roads with an incline.  Other causes include overuse, supination, high/ridged arches or low flat arches, inflexibility, overpronation, weak pelvic and buttock muscles, knee misalignment.
  • Self Help | Ice massage, specific ITB Stretching, use a foam roller, varied running/walking routes, reduce your mileage and strngthen pelvic and buttock muscles.


  • Where it hurts | Inner part of the front of the lower leg.
  • Caution | If not treated, shin splints can lead to tibial stress fractures.  If injury persists, see your GP
  • How it feels | Pain, soreness, tenderness and mild swelling.
  • Causes | Often increases when you increase your mileage or begin a training programme.  Other causes include training too much, too fast, too long, calf and achilles tightness.  Unsupportive or worn-out shoes and more commonly flat feet and excessive pronating are also causes.
  • Self Help | Replace your running shoes every 350 to 500miles, have a gait analysis, ice massage, stretching, arch support, running on softer surfaces.


  • Where it hurts | Bottom and/or inner side of the knee.
  • Caution | If injury persists, see your GP
  • How it feels | Sharp pain while running or jumping, persisting after as a dull ache.
  • Causes | Overuse, sudden increase in intensity of training, tight leg muscles, differing leg lengths, overpronation, weakness or imbalance in quadricep muscles resulting in an increased hip motion.
  • Self Help | Ice massage, avoid pain-causing activity, switch to lower-impact activities or softer surfaces and strengthen quadricep muscles.


  • Where it hurts | Lower calf muscles on the back of the leg.
  • Caution | Reduce mileage or avoid running until pain free.  If injury persists, see your GP
  • How it feels | Dull aches and pains, stiffness and can feel worse in the mornings.
  • Self Help | RICE (Rest | Ice | Compression | Elevation) Do this especially at night, use ache supports and modify your training.


  • Where it hurts | Bottom of the foot
  • Caution | Early recognition and treatment is key.  If injury persists, see your GP
  • How it feels | Sharp knife life pain inside the heel, heel pain during first morning steps and at the end of the day.
  • Causes | Prolonged standing, being overweight, differing leg lengths, unsupportive shoes, tight calfs, tight achillies tendon, flexible arch and over pronation.
  • Self Help | Arch supports, night splints, stretching (especially the calf muscles).


  • Where it hurts | A pinched nerve in the foot, most often between the third and forth toes.
  • Caution | If injury persists, see your GP
  • How it feels | Sharp burning or throbbing pain in the ball of the foot, tingling in toes.
  • Self Help | Ice massage, wear appropriately fitted and supported shoes with broad toe box, take a break from high impact training, consider arch supports, footpads and/or orthotics.


  • Where it hurts | Joint of the big toe.
  • Caution | If injury persists, see your GP
  • How it feels | painful ache or soreness on outside of the big toe, often with a bulging bump.  Big toe may sharply angle in towards other toes, area can also become red and warm.
  • Causes | Hereditary predisposition, ill-fitting shoes.
  • Self Help | Select shoes with a wide and deep toe box, avoid high heels, ice for pain and swelling.


  • Where it hurts | Usually where your shoes or socks have rubbed against your skin.
  • Caution | Make sure you have correct fitted shoes, but sock especially made for running (X-Socks are the official running sock of Ultra Runner Mike Buss), use zinc oxide tape to cover areas prone to blistering.
  • How it feels | Painful bubbles of skin filled with clear fluid.  They can appear anywhere on your foot.
  • Causes | Friction, sweaty feet, wet conditions, wearing shoes that are too small or tied too tight, foot abnormalities such as bunions, heel spurs and hammertoes.
  • Self Help | If you already have a blister and its not painful, just leave it alone.  If the blister is painful, carefully pierce it with a sterilized needle, press the fluid out, apply antiseptic cream, and cover the area with an adesive blister plaster if you are still active and running.  If you have finished training and are rested up for the rest of the day, use a sterilized needle again with a little cotton treaded, pierce the blister and feed through to the other side, once threaded through leave the cotton thread hanging out the blister over night to let air circulate through and dry the blister out.





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Category: Fitness Advice, Running Advice

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