Five Most Common Running Injuries, Symptoms & Treatment

Injuries are an indispensable part of sports. You must have seen cricketers getting injured on the field while playing. People get injured while working out and even while running. Lets dive deep to understand common running injuries one experiences.

Running is one of the best ways to improve and maintain fitness and to stay in shape. Besides, there are enormous number of health benefits of Running. It has been found that more than 40 million Americans run daily to stay fit.

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Runners come across a few injuries while running. More than 80% of running injuries are caused due to repetitive stress, but a few sudden injuries can also take place such as a sprained ankle or torn muscle.

Being a runner, you must be running hundreds of miles every year. Striking of the foot has a great impact on your muscles, joints as well as connective tissue. According to a study conducted in 2015, it was observed that knees, legs, and feet are the most common areas of injuries for runners.

Table of Contents
Common Running Injuries
Runner’s Knee
IT Band Syndrome
Shin Splints
Hamstring Injuries
Ankle Sprain
Frequently Asked Questions

Common Running Injuries

Runner’s Knee

Also known as the patellofemoral syndrome is a condition in which the runner experiences pain in the front knee or around the kneecap. This injury can happen in the case of running or jumping. It can be developed when there’s a weakness in your hips or the muscles around the knee.

Common Running Injuries

The pain can range from mild to very painful, it can get worse with prolonged sitting or exercise. A cracking or popping sound can also be heard after a prolonged period of being stationary. 


  1. Rest just after pain take place
  2. Reduce inflammation with ice and medicines.
  3. Orthotics.
  4. Stretching of hip & front thigh muscle.

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IT band Syndrome

A long piece of connective tissue called Iliotibial band that pass to the knee from your outer hip. This helps in stabilizing the knee while walking or running. It is caused by the repetitive friction of the IT band rubbing against the leg bone.

Common Running Injuries

Runners often experience IT band syndrome due to tight IT bands. The causes of IT band Syndrome are weak gluteal muscles, abdominals, or hips.

In This Condition

  • One can experience severe pain on the outer side of the leg generally above the knee.
  • The pain can get worse while bending the knee.


  1. Practice strengthening exercise for the outside of hip.
  2. Rest in case of pain persists or little cross training in case of no or less pain.
  3. Foam roller could be beneficial.
  4. Slowly enhance the activity.

Shin Splints- Common Running Injuries

Shin splints or tibial stress syndrome is a pain that occurs in the front or inner parts of the lower leg along the shinbone. It occurs when your running volume is increased too quickly, usually while running on hard surfaces.


In many situations, these splints are not that serious and go away too quickly with rest, but if left untreated they can take the face of stress fractures.

Shin splints Symptoms

  • A mild swelling in the lower leg,
  • Tenderness,
  • A pain that gets worse while exercising and
  • Dull pain along the front of the inner part of the shinbone.


  1. Reduction in inflammation with medicine or Ice.
  2. Proper rest or cutting on how frequently or how far a person runs.
  3. Strengthening of calf muscles could be helpful.
  4. Stretch Gastroc & soleus muscles.

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Hamstring Injuries

Hamstrings are of great help to decelerate the lower leg during the swing phase of running. One can get injured if the hamstrings are tight, weak, or tired.

Common Running Injuries

It is not as common as the sprinters, however, a sudden hamstring tear can be observed by the distance runners. Distance runners get hamstring strains which are caused by tears in the fibers and connective tissue of the hamstring muscle.

A hamstring injury can have the symptoms like

  • Dull pain in the back of the upper leg,
  • Muscle that is tender to touch
  • Weakness as well as stiffness in the hamstring.


  1. Ice packs could be helpful to decrease swelling & relieve pain.
  2. Gap from any arduous activity for an injury to heal.
  3. Elevation of an injured leg to relieve pain.

Ankle Sprain

These are caused by overstretching of ligaments between your leg and ankle. It often happens when a runner lands on the outer part of the foot or rolls over the ankle.

Common Running Injuries

Symptoms of Ankle Sprain

  • Discoloration,
  • Pain, and swelling,
  • Bruising or limited range of motion.

Also Read: Walking Vs Running Vs Cycling– Which is the best work out for weight loss


  1. Proper rest, self-care, or physical therapy could be helpful.
  2. It can take a week to a few months to heal a sprain.
  3. Ankle brace can restore balance, flexibility & strength.
  4. Application of Anti-inflammatory ointment.

Frequently Asked Questions- Common Running Injuries

Can you Run through Injury?

It is highly recommended not to perform any activity during Injury. Rest, oral application of anti-inflammatory medicine & ice pack could beneficial to regain strength. As & when little stiffness is left, some little stretching could be done to get back in shape.

Is Running bad for Knees?

Many studies suggest that Running is good for our joints. However, if you fall in obese category, you shouldn’t be involved in an intensive routine in the beginning.

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