Treatment and Prevention of Common Running Injuries

Recent studies estimate somewhere between 45 to 70 percent of runners are injured each year. Regardless of the number, the statistics are telling. If you're a runner, you're likely to find yourself laid up with a running-related ailment at one point or another.

While some injuries may be unavoidable, proper treatment can greatly reduce the time you spend nursing the problem.

Consider the following most frequently seen running injuries as you do your best to stay happy, healthy, and up and running.

More: 3 Exercise Alternatives for Injured Runners

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome aka Runner's Knee

Runner's knee is one of the most widespread complaints among endurance athletes, characterized by pain under and around the kneecap.

Rather than being caused by an acute injury, it is usually the result of the internal rotation of the femur during running, which causes stress underneath the patella. "It's the injury that usually isn't caused by an actual knee issue, but more an instability or poor control of the femur at the gluteal level," Dr. Chris Leisz, medical director for the Running and Endurance Sports Injury Clinic at Allina Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis, Minnesota says.

Treatment:

  • Switch to a low-impact cardio activity for several days.
  • Ice your knee for 10 to 20 minutes twice daily, especially after activity.

Prevention:

Strengthen the gluteal muscles that control the femur with the following exercises:

  • Squats
  • Lunges

Make sure your footwear provides adequate support.

More: How to Prevent Knee Injury and Pain

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