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3 Common Running Injuries and How to Fix Them

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With many  injuries there are often a number of contributing factors. Your body does an amazing job at hiding problems so that you are able to continue running around. But eventually everything will come to a head and you will start noticing pain.

Here are the most likely culprits for the top three most commonly seen running issues.

1. IT Band Syndrome aka Runner’s Knee

What it is – This pain in this repetitive stress injury is caused by friction of a tight iliotibial (IT) band over the outside of the knee joint.

Cause – Tight hip flexors. To find the true cause of this issue you often have to look away from the location of pain. When your hip flexors are tight you are not able to achieve full hip extension in your stride and often the leg will kick back and outside rather than straight back. Over time this causes the IT band to get tight.

Fix – Couch Stretch (3 sets of 0:30 each leg)

2. Shin Splints

What it is – This condition is especially common in younger runners  but not uncommon in recreational runners or those looking to train for a half or full marathon. Often too much of an increase in overall mileage or a sharp increase in running speed over a short period of time will produce  more stress on the inside of the shin than the muscles can absorb.

Cause – Inexperienced runners or those with open growth plates tend to create more stress on the muscle will produce fatigue and the force of landing will go to the bone rather than the muscle.

Fix – Ankle Drivers (2 sets of 0:30 each leg) and Lateral Stepdowns (2 sets of 10 each leg).

3. Plantar Fasciitis

What it is – The tendons and the soft tissue on the bottom of the foot (especially those connecting the big toe) become inflamed and very painful. The pain associated with this condition is worst in the morning and usually gets better throughout the day.

Cause – There are a multitude of contributing factors that may not even be physical activity related. But in runners the most common cause is a low or collapsed arch and loss of range of motion of the ankle. This causes stress through the foot and repetitive or improper foot strike will stress the structures in the bottom of the foot.

Fix – Lacrosse Ball on Bottom of Feet (2 sets of 1:00 each leg)  and Wall Calf Stretch (2 sets of 0:30)


As always, this information is meant to be a starting point. If you think you might have any of these conditions you should always consult a healthcare physician. Dr. Sean is available for free injury consults in the gym through his clinic RESPORT. If you would like to schedule one please contact him at info@resportchicago.com.

To learn more about running injury free click here.