Running is an excellent sport for any age. Requiring little more than a good pair of running shoes, it can be a great stress reliever, a routine cardio workout, and beyond that, a solid team-builder for kids and teens as part of a school track or cross-country program. As with all sports, of course, there are not only health benefits to running, but also the chance of injury as well. As families prepare their young runners for another season out on the track (or even around the block), it’s important to keep foot and ankle health in mind to avoid common running injuries.
Running on asphalt or other hard surfaces ultimately creates a significant amount of stress on the legs and back. Pulled muscles are also a concern when proper stretching has not been prioritized before a run. So what can be done to prevent injury? Prevention is key. Wearing a good pair of shoes with adequate support is a great place to start, and warming up will help to stretch important muscles and prepare your body for the workout ahead. Also consider safety precautions like proper hydration, reflectors for nighttime and early morning runs, and keeping muscles warm in colder weather.
Common injuries while running may include sprained ankles, blisters, Achilles tendonitis, runner’s knee (chondromalacia), iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome, plantar fasciitis (heel pain), and/or shin splints. So what do you do if you think you may be developing or irritating an injury as you pound the pavement? Stop running as soon as you recognize any symptoms, and address the concern as soon as possible. Ignoring any warning signs your body gives will only amount to larger issues further down the line. Contact our office with questions so that we can help to guide you, and allow us to help you get back on the road!