It is perhaps the knees which give runners the most problems. Indeed, most specialists confirm that knee injuries are the most common injury that they have to deal with. Generally speaking, knee pain, or as it is often referred to, runner's pain, is caused by a swelling that occurs under the kneecap but can manifest itself as pain at either the front or the back of the knee.
If you suffer from knee pain it should be immediately treated by placing an ice pack on the painful area. The ice, however, should never be applied directly to the skin. You can also ease the problem by stretching your knees regularly. If the problem worsens you should consult a specialist and take a break from running until it is completely resolved.
Regular running can also have a bad effect on the Achilles tendon. This is a tough, rubbery cord that is located behind the heel or ankle. The symptoms can either be a continuous but minor pain or a sharp and sudden pain. To ease the risk of Achilles injuries you can try putting heel wedges in your training shoes. These can be found in most good sports shops.
If you do experience tendon pains you can treat them with an ice pack or by gently massaging the problem area. If the pain is minor you can start running again once it has cleared, but if the pain is sharper the tendon may be torn and you will need to have it professionally treated.
Shin pain or 'shin splints' as it is commonly known, is experienced in the area just below the knee on the front of the leg. If you start to experience pain in this area you should stop running immediately rather than thinking you can simply 'run it off', because serious damage may occur if you continue.
As with the other problems, you can treat shin splints with an ice pack but you must take a break from running for two or three weeks at least. If the problem still persists after three weeks or swelling occurs then you must visit a specialist.
Officially referred to as 'plantar fasciitis', heel pain tends to occur when you make a dramatic change to your running routine. For example, increasing the length of your runs or including more uphill running can put an increased pressure on the area of the heel.
Not wearing appropriate footwear with sufficient support can also add to the risk of damaging this area. Heel pain is generally experienced as a short sharp pain and again can be eased with an ice pack. You should take a break from running for at least ten days and visit a specialist if the symptoms have not improved after the ten-day period.
Finally, new runners are especially susceptible to muscle strains, the most common of which is in the hamstring. While the majority of strains can be treated at home they can often take a long time to heal. In fact, in the most serious cases those who suffer a hamstring injury are forced to refrain from running for anything up to six months.
Zoe is a fitness and health blogger who enjoys a varied fitness routine using fitness equipment from Reebok. She enjoys running on the weekends, and attending Zumba and Pilates classes during the week to maintain a healthy fitness level.
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