Whether it's on a trail, in a park, or along your neighborhood streets, running is an excellent way to keep fit and clear your head.
But often after a solid running session, you feel some sort of pain in your body that's more than just muscle soreness. So when should you be worried? Below are six common sources of running-related pain, plus what could be causing each one.
The plantar fascia is a connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes. It acts like a little shock absorber, helping to support your arch. Placing too much stress on the plantar fascia, however, can cause tiny tears that lead to pain and inflammation. Tight calf muscles and Achilles tendons are a common risk factor.
Shin splints are the inflammation of the muscles and tendons around your shin bones. They most commonly occur on the inner edge of your shin bone, where muscles attach to the bone. In addition to overuse, flat feet and worn-out footwear can increase your chances of developing shin splints.
Your IT band is made up of fascia that runs along the outside of your thigh from just above your hip to just below your knee. Whenever you bend or extend your leg, the IT band moves over your thighbone with the help of fluid-filled sacs called bursa. But if your IT band is too tight, it will create friction, which can cause both the IT band and the bursa to swell. Pain at the upper end of the IT band is often due to inflammation of the bursa sac at the outside of the hip. Pain at the lower end is due to inflammation of the bursa sac at the outside of the knee.
Many of these conditions can be treated via activity modification, footwear adjustments, stretching, ice/heat, compression, taping/bracing and, if necessary, anti-inflammatory medications. Head over to your nearest CityMD location to explore your options.