Who Doesn’t Love Running?

Approximately two million people regularly go running in the UK.

Partly of it’s popularity is that pretty much anyone can pull on a pair of trainers and go outside; and plenty of people do just that. The NHS Couch To 5K has helped countless people start running, and the booming Parkrun scene has thousands getting up early on a Sunday morning to run round a local park in a friendly, no-judgemental mass-participation environment. And for some, running short distances leads onto longer distances, from 5K to 10K to half marathons and marathons.

But the very fact that anyone can go for a run means that injuries from running are sadly all too common.

Common injuries and what to do about them

Like most things; prevention is easier than a cure! A good stretching routine before starting your run and investing in a good, high quality pair of fitted running shoes can really lower the chances of you getting injured, as can making sure that you don’t set out too far, too fast; you should only increase your distance around 10% a week - that doesn’t mean you should start with a 20 miler!

Still, if you do get injured, it’s important to take the right action in order to recover as quickly as possible. We’ve listed some of the common injuries and advice about what you can do below:

Hamstring injuries

How you’ll know:
You’ll know you have this if you’re experiencing pain along the back of your thigh, with the muscles there feeling tight and / or weak. You may also feel a sharper pain just below or in the buttocks, where the three hamstring muscles originate.

How it probably happened:
If you’ve gone out too far, too soon, or have weak glutes and back extensor muscles, or if you’re not very flexible, you could be one of the 7% of runners who pick up a hamstring injury.

What can you do:
Reduce the amount you run, or even consider taking a break from running for a little while. If you continue running, stay away from hills and speed work, as this will put more stress through your hamstring muscles. Work on your flexibility, and look at strengthening your glutes and back extensor muscles.

Soft tissue therapy can help with stretching and flexibility for the hamstrings, and taping can help with inflammation and support.

Download our more detailed, free, advice sheet for hamstring injuries.

it band (aka illiotibial band) syndrome

How you’ll know:
For the amount of press that the IT Band gets, you would be forgiven for thinking that more than 13% of runners suffer from this at some point. You’ll know if you’re one of them if you feel a tightness down the outside of the thigh, and pain where the IT band attaches to the outside of the knee.

How it probably happened:
Issues with the IT band are often caused by weak glutes and weak core muscles. You can also pick this injury if you run on an uneven, curved surface - like the gutter or continually sloped pavements.

What you can do:
You can’t make any real difference to the IT band by rolling it (because it is a very tough band and meant to be tight so that you can stand upright), although using a foam roller on the quads and hamstrings will no doubt feel relieving. Instead, work on mobility by performing stretches and exercises, and look at strengthening the glutes.

Again, soft tissue therapy can help with the inflammation that you’re likely to have, and taping can help with support around the knee.

Download our free, detailed advice sheet for IT band injury treatment

runner’s knee (aka patellofemoral pain syndrome or pps)

How you’ll know:
Your knee hurts! The pain could be in or around your knee, but it’ll be very distinctive and uncomfortable. 40% of runners complain of knee problems, so you’re definitely not alone with this issue.

How it probably happened:
This can be related to leg biomechanics (remember that advice about shoes?). There is normally irritation to the cartilage behind the knee cap.

What you can do:
You’re going to need to look at some cross training for this injury, along with cutting back on your running a little. Check your running shoes - if you’ve had them a long time, covered a lot of miles or are a heavier runner, you might need to buy some new shoes as your current ones may not be offering enough support. You should look to strengthen your glutes, and the muscles of the thigh and calf if they are weak, to help support your knee. You may well also need to stretch your quads and hip flexor muscles more. Specialist taping techniques can help offer support.

Download our useful, free advice sheet for runner’s knee here

shin splints (medial tibial stress syndrome)

How you’ll know:
Common to about 15% of runners, a tight, uncomfortable pain along the front of your shin will often be shin splints. It can feel worse when you move your feet.

How it probably happened:
Shin splints are often related to running too much, too soon, or running on hard surfaces.

What you can do:
Most of us have to run on the pavements, but well padded shoes, and padded socks, can help. Specialist taping to the shin can offer relief, and there are soft tissue release and muscle energy techniques that can offer quick relief; we can show you techniques to help deal with this yourself should a flare up occur.

Download our shin splints advice sheet here - it’s free!

how we can help

Having ran various marathons, including Boston (in one of the hottest years on record), London and Berlin (three times), Vic is very familiar with both the physical and mental stresses that runners go through!

Both Greg and Vic at State 11 hold Level 5 qualifications in soft tissue therapy, which means they can assess and treat injuries caused by running (and other activities!). We offer kinesiology taping as part of our standard treatment package - we don’t charge more like some therapists do. We can send you away with personalised stretches and rehab advice, and if you come and see us for an injury, your first appointment is 33% off! You can book online - and see what our clients have said - at www.state11.co.uk/take-action. We even run a referral scheme that’ll earn you money off your next appointment.

We regularly update our site with useful information like this. If you’d like to be notified when we next update our site - and hear about new services (and special offers), join our mailing list below and follow us on Facebook.