As a running athlete, training is important for strengthening the muscles and building stamina, as well as improving overall fitness but, overworking the body can carry negative complications. An estimated nearly 80 percent of runners are injured each year, most of these injuries are caused by constant pressure on the muscles for an extended period of time. The 5 most frequent types of running injuries mainly involve the legs and feet.
Hamstring Muscle Tear
The hamstring muscles are a large group of muscles found on the back of the thigh. These function by stretching the hip joints and bending the knee joints. The hamstring is considerably used while running and a hamstring muscle tear can occur due to overuse, not warming up before any physical activity, or stretching the muscles beyond their range of motion. The severity of a hamstring injury ranges from a minor tear with mild pain, discomfort, and tightness, to a severe tear, where the muscle has been significantly or completely torn, causing severe pain, discomfort, and considerable swelling, bruising, and limited mobility.
An anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, tear is recognized as one of the most common type of knee injuries, occurring during high demand sports where quick movements of the legs are most frequent. An ACL injury can result in numerous ways, although mostly in non-contact related injuries. Incorrectly landing from a jump or stopping abruptly from a run can cause the ligament to tear. Studies have shown that female athletes have a higher rate of experiencing an anterior cruciate ligament tear than men.
Shin splints is a medical term used to characterize a variety of symptoms located along the tibia, or shin bone and the local muscles. Shin splints form when the muscle and bone tissue in the leg become overworked by constant and repetitive activity. Excessive high impact exercises, like those common while running, add stress to the tibia, developing shin splints and its familiar symptoms of pain.
Quadratus Lumborum Muscle Pain
Muscle strains, such as a quadratus lumborum muscle strain, may be a leading cause for the well-known symptoms of pain and discomfort while performing physical activity. The quadratus lumborum muscle is a large, triangular-shaped, muscle located deep on each side of the lower back. The thick muscular tissue allows movement of the lumbar spine and torso to move laterally from side to side as well as extend and stabilize the lower spine and posture. The symptoms of this type of injury range from mild to severe including different grades of restricted mobility and a burning sensation on the muscles.
The plantar fascia is a thick cord of connective tissue, located along the bottom of the foot, that runs from the heel and connects to the base of the toes. The fascia functions as a cushion to support the arch of the foot. When tension begins to build up on the fascia from overexertion, small tears develop on the band of tissue resulting in irritation that causes inflammation and pain known as plantar fasciitis.
By Dr. Alex Jimenez