Common Injuries of a Runner

  • Runner’s knee: A common overuse injury that results from the kneecap being out of alignment. Often, the cartilage on the kneecap wears down and can cause pain, particularly when going up or down stairs, squatting, or sitting with the knee bent for extended periods of time.


  • Stress fractures: These are small cracks in the bone that typically occur in the shins and feet of runners. It can be caused by overdoing an activity before your body becomes adjusted. Pain from stress fractures gets worse with high activity but subsides with rest.


  • Shin splints: This is pain that occurs on the front or inside of the lower leg and shin bone. This is common when changing a workout routine too quickly, such as increasing mileage or the number of days that you run.


  • Muscle strain: A small tear in the muscle that is often caused by overstretching during an activity. This is common in the hamstrings, quads, calf, and groin muscles. You may sometimes hear or feel a popping sensation with this type of injury.


  • Ankle sprain: An accidental stretching or tearing of ligaments around the ankle, often occurring from twisting or rolling the ankle while running.


  • Plantar fasciitis: Small micro-tears occur in the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, causing inflammation and pain. Contributing factors include tight calf muscles and high or flat arches.

  • Iliotibial band syndrome: The iliotibial (IT) band runs along the outside of the thigh and knee. When this ligament thickens and rubs the knee bone, it causes pain and inflammation.


  • Patellar tendonitis

The treatments for most of these injuries is the same. Allow your body to rest, ice the area, compression and elevation, and stretch and strengthen the muscles that support the joints.

Tips to avoid running injuries:

– Don’t ignore pain that doesn’t get better with rest

– Warm up and stretch before participating in any activities

– Add weight training and core strengthening to your routine

– Cross train—try adding some lower impact activities to your routine such as swimming or cycling

– Wear appropriate shoes