How to correct six common running injuries

If you develop an injury as a runner there’s really no place to hide it, unlike some other sports where you can “play hurt” and gut your way through.
If you have common runner’s problems such as shin splints, runner’s knee or Achilles’ tendonitis, it will be magnified as the miles add on.
That makes nipping these problems in the bud even more imperative for runners, or else they will likely be sidelined for a while.
There are some easy ways to fix common problems. Here are six common sources of pain for runners and the solutions to relieve them:
* Shin splints – Overpronation can cause the connective tissues to tug on the lower leg. Running barefoot for 10 minutes a week can help reduce the foot collapse. Others solutions are to stretch out the calf muscles more and run on softer surfaces to ease the shock, such as switching from pavement or a track to trails or a treadmill.
* Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome – The hip-to-knee connective tissues can get tethered to surrounding muscles and pull on the knee when unstable hips cause a side-to-side motion. A great fix to this is to lie on your side with a foam roller under your hip. Slowly roll the roller back and forth from hip to knee.
* Achilles tendonitis – If you are experiencing Achilles’ tendon discomfort, stretch your calves and Achilles more thoroughly. Use a slant board to get a better Achilles stretch.
* Hip pain – Strengthen your glute muscles and core to alleviate hip pain. Also, make sure to emphasize good, proper running form. Work out on an elliptical machine if you need to give your Achilles’ a break.
* Ankle sprain – If you should happen to suffer an ankle sprain, it’s extremely important to ice the injury and also give it proper time to heal. Theraband stretches can help regain mobility and strengthen the ankle and other lower leg muscles.
* Runner’s knee – Overuse or leaning too far forward or backward when running can lead to pain in the knees. Lean slightly forward from ankles when running to shift weight a little more to the balls of the feet.
Sometimes knee pain can also result from quad or glute muscles that need to be strengthened.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at

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