We all want to avoid running injuries and prevention of running injuries is a priority at SDRI. Having the proper shoes is the first step is the first step in prevention of running injuries. However, running injuries do occur.
If you are currently suffering from any of the below running injuries and want more information, advice, treatment or just a 2nd opinion we recommend either calling Dr. Runco at (858) 268-8525. Besides being a Doctor and Owner of the San Diego Running Institute, Dr. Runco is a Marathoner and 50-mile ultra-marathoner. There is no one better to diagnose your injury and help you achieve your goal.
Common Running Injuries
Check out the topics below to learn more about running injuries, their causes and prevention.
Learn More About Achilles Bursitis
Achilles or retrocalcaneal bursitis is a common running injury that afflicts many runners we have seen at the San Diego Running Institute. It is often confused with achilles tendonitis and therefore has become a chronic condition. The runner will usually describe pain in the achilles region, behind the ankle that hurts severely if the achilles tendon is “pinched” between two fingers.
Learn More About Achilles Tendonosis/Tendonopathy/Tendonites
Achilles Tendonosis/Tendonopathy is a newly recognized disorder. It is common in runners and other athletes. The condition is not understood by most and is very confusing to the patient. The achilles tendon has poor regenerative capability which is why achilles tendonitis can turn into achilles tendonosis/tendonopathy. Achilles tendonites is a common running injury. It can be related to the runner having tight calf muscles, having high foot arches, doing speed training or hill repeats. The runner will describe pain that occurs behind their ankle near where the achilles tendon attaches to their heel bone.
Achilles Tendonosis/Tendonopathy/Tendonites Videos:
Learn More About Heel Pain
Heel pain is one of the more common running injuries I see at the San Diego Running institute. The runner often complains that they have pain in their heel or arch that is worse in the morning and gradually “warms up”. They also say that the pain gets progressively worse as they “run through it” and following running the pain is much worse sometimes causing them to limp. It is surprising how many of these runners with heel and or arch pain have been either misdiagnosed or given bad advice or ineffectual treatment.
High Hamstring Tendonopathy
Learn More About High Hamstring Tendonpathy
High Hamstring Tendonopathy is a condition that affects runners. I see it most often in the long distance running population that likes to incorporate speed training and hill repeats. The condition starts out as hamstring tendonitis at the origin of the muscle. The hamstring muscles originate at your ischial tuberosity near the bottom of your gluteal region. The hamstring tendonitis progresses to hamstring tendonosis which describes thickening and scarring of the hamstring origin.
High Hamstring Tendonopathy Video:
Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)
Learn More About Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)
Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is typically described as pain on the outside of the knee that occurs while running. The pain begins after running for a while and gets worse as distance increases. This is because ITBS it is an overuse/repetitive strain injury. As the distance increases there is increased strain on the Iliotibial Band eventually resulting in pain and an inability to completely extend your leg. Often the pain stops almost as soon as you stop running but may hurt while walking up or down stairs. Excessive pronation, faulty running mechanics, or a tight iliotibial band can result in this painful condition.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) Video:
Learn More About Ischael Bursitis
Ischial Bursitis is a common type of running injury. This painful inflammatory condition results in a deep aching sensation in the runner’s involved hip. Ischial Bursitis is a painful condition that negatively affects your ability to run. It is often misdiagnosed resulting in prolonged periods of no running and unnecessary pain. If you are suffering from pain in the Gluteal region or hamstring it is important to have this condition accurately diagnosed and treated so that you may return to pain free running…..and sitting.
Ischial Bursitis Video:
Leg Length Discrepancy
Learn More About Leg Length Discrepancy
Having one leg longer than the other is a common anatomical trait in humans. Rarely do we grow perfectly symmetrical. It is thought that at least 75% of the human population suffers from a leg length inequality. Leg length inequality is thought to be a possible cause of back pain, hip pain, Piriformis Syndrome, Iliotibial Band Syndrome and hip and knee arthritis. When one leg is longer than another it causes us to lean and put more pressure on the shorter side. Over time the added pressure on that side results in injury.
Leg Length Discrepancy Video:
Lower Back Pain/Sciatica
Learn More About Lower Back Pain/Sciatica
Lower back pain is a common condition that affects roughly 80% of the population at some point in their lives. Not all lower back pain is due to the same causes though. It is common for people to relate their lower back pain to me as “sciatica” when in fact they do not have sciatica. Sciatica is defined by the Medical Dictionary as radiating pain from the back, down the leg, all the way to your foot. In fact, very few patients that I see actually have sciatica. There are many other reasons for lower back pain.
Learn More About Metatarsalgia
Metatarsalgia is a condition we frequently see at the San Diego Running Institute. This painful foot condition is often misdiagnosed or confused with plantar fasciitis or Mortons Neuroma. A runner will complain of pain in the ball of their foot usually just behind the second or third toe. The pain can be intense or just a dull ache that they describe as “walking on a rock’ or “walking right on the bone”. The pain can be intense enough to cause you to stop running.
Learn More About Morton’s Neuroma
Mortons Neuroma is a condition we frequently see at the San Diego Running Institute. This painful foot condition is often misdiagnosed or confused with plantar fasciitis or Metatarsalgia. A runner will complain of pain in the ball of their foot usually just behind the second or third toe that either causes numbness into the toes or shooting pain into the toes. The pain can be intense or just a dull ache that they describe but usually gets progressively worse with activity.
Morton’s Neuroma Video:
Learn More About Neck Pain
Neck pain is a common complaint that affects many people everyday. This intense pain can result from a number of injuries, disorders and or diseases. Many of these soft tissue type injuries are a direct result from contact sports, falls and motor vehicle accidents. There are many different conditions that cause neck pain. Some of the most common conditions include—muscle strain, whiplash type injuries, herniated disc, pinched nerves and degenerative disc disease or arthritis.
Learn More About Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease
Osgood-Schlatters Disease is a common diagnosis given to young, athletic boys suffering from pain in the front of their knee and below their kneecap that is sharp and stabbing when they run. It generally begins quickly in a run and progresses to the point that it prevents running at all. Squatting, lunging, stairs and jumping are also often reported to be painful.
Learn More About Piriformis Pain
Piriformis Syndrome is a condition that causes pain in a runner’s gluteal (buttocks) region during running and/or prolonged sitting. Piriformis Syndrome can cause radiating pain down your glut and into your hamstring mimicking sciatica. Because the symptoms resemble sciatica Piriformis Syndrome is often misdiagnosed leaving a runner frustrated and with a literal pain in the ass! Overtraining, excessive speed-work, hill workouts or a leg length discrepancy can cause Piriformis Syndrome to start. Because the Piriformis muscle is instrumental in the running process once it is affected it typically worsens as distance or speed increase.
Piriformis Pain Video:
Learn More About Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is typically described as sharp or stabbing pain and inflammation in the heel and or arch of the foot that hurts worse in the morning when getting out of bed. Most patients and runners say that the pain gets somewhat better after the first few steps but gets worse after standing or sitting for extended periods of time. Too much tension or repetitive stretching can cause the plantar fascia to tear become inflamed and possibly rupture. Long distance running without proper recovery, flat, low-arched feet or rigid high-arched feet all can be the cause of plantar fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis Video:
Plantar Plate Sprains
Learn More About Plantar Plate Sprains
Plantar Plate sprains (also known as Plantar Plate Tears) are common, painful conditions that can affect runners of all ages and experience levels. A sprain is a torn ligament. Sprains occur in varying degrees of severity. Since Plantar Plate Sprains come in varying degrees they are sometimes difficult for doctors who do not specialize in diagnosis and treatment of the disorder to identify and diagnose accurately.
Plantar Plate Sprain Video:
Learn More About Runner’s Knee
Runners Knee goes my many names. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), Chondromalacia, Patella tracking error, weak quads and more. If your knee hurts and you happen to be a runner you may have been labeled with one of those diagnosis. Typical Runners Knee results in pain underneath (deep) to your kneecap and is described as achy and painful while running, running downhill, downstairs, squatting or lunging.
Learn More About Sesamoiditis
Sesamoiditis is a painful condition that affects the area of your foot beneath you big toe. Sesamoid bones are small accessory bones that reside under your first metatarsal and function as an additional lever arm to help propel you forward during walking and running. With repetitive impact a walker or runner may start to experience pain in their sesamoid bones.
Learn More About Shin Splints
Shin Splints or Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) is typically described as sharp radiating pain that occurs while running and either gets progressively worse with every step or seems to warm up as you run. Running in the wrong type of shoe, not having enough arch support, overpronation can predispose a runner to shin splints or medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS). Often changing to a stability or motion control shoe will increase arch support and limit pronation thereby reducing stress on your legs. However, many runners need orthopedic inserts also called custom orthotics to decrease their pronation in addition to wearing a stability shoe.
Learn More About Stress Fractures
Stress fractures occur because the forces placed on your bone exceed its ability to adapt. This results in a stress response and causes the bone to break from the inside out. The pain is often misinterpreted as muscular which gives the runner a false sense of security. The most common muscular diagnosis for leg pain is Shin Splints. Shin Splints is not a legitimate diagnosis as it is actually describing what is happening to the muscle in your leg… the splinting response. The muscles in your leg will seize or spasm in response to bone injury thus the term splint. To put this in perspective one would use a splint to stabilize a broken bone, torn tendon or a torn ligament. So your body’s normal response to bone injury is to “splint” the area by tightening the muscles in that area.
Treatment for Running Injuries:
AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill
Learn More About AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill
Using NASA patented Differential Air Pressure technology and clinically supervised by a Doctor, the AlterG “unweights” you by as much as 80% of your current body weight (adjustable in 1% increments). This uniquely adjustable process allows the user to walk or run pain free in a comfortable and stable environment.
AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill Video:
Learn More About Custom Orthotics
A custom orthotic is a device made and customized to the shape of your foot. It is meant to stabilize the foot and hold it in an optimal position, increase function, limit motion of a painful joint, decrease weight bearing on painful areas and protect your foot from excessive impact and shearing forces.
Custom Orthotic Video:
Learn More About Kinesio Taping
Kinesiotaping is a state-of-the-art running inury tool used to help runners with injuries. Instead of a brace, Kinesiotape is used to help runners keep their muscles and joints in alignment.