Running is one of the most popular ways to exercise, but it also comes with a high risk of injury. Every year, at least half of all regular runners suffer an injury, usually due to overuse. At Schofield, Hand and Bright Orthopaedics in Sarasota, Florida, Adam Bright, MD, has years of experience helping people prevent running injuries. A life-long runner, Dr. Bright has completed the Boston Marathon 15 times and other races, including the prestigious Leadville 100 mile trail run and Western States 100 mile trail run. For treatment for a running injury, call the office or schedule an appointment online.
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the lower leg and knee are the most common body areas injured in runners. Those areas are followed by feet, upper legs, hips, Achilles tendons, and ankles.
Dr. Bright frequently treats the top running injuries, which includes:
Weak or imbalanced muscles, abnormal leg bone alignment, flat feet, and not wearing supportive shoes can contribute to running injuries. But the conditions in this list are overuse injuries.
Overuse injuries develop gradually as you repeat the same movement, especially when you repeatedly strike the ground with your foot.
When you run, your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones naturally sustain microinjuries. If you don’t give your body time to heal, these injuries get progressively worse, causing inflammation, tissue tears, and fractures.
Pain is the top symptom caused by running injuries. The severity, quality, and location of the pain depend on the injury. In most cases, the pain gets worse when you run and feels better when you rest. But there are exceptions. For example, plantar fasciitis often causes more pain after exercise than during activity.
The more you keep running despite the pain of an injury, the more damage you can do to the soft tissues. If your pain doesn’t improve or you have pain even when resting, it’s time to schedule an exam with Dr. Bright.
After evaluating your symptoms, doing a physical exam, and taking X-rays or other diagnostic tests (if needed), Dr. Bright develops a treatment plan based on the type of injury and the severity of the underlying problem.
A few examples of treatments Dr. Bright often uses for running injuries include:
If your pain and other symptoms don’t improve after aggressive nonsurgical treatment, Dr. Bright may suggest surgery for some runner’s injuries, especially if you have a torn tendon or ligament.
Should you need surgery, Dr. Bright performs minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery to examine the knee joint and repair the damaged tissues.
If you need expert care for a running injury, call Schofield, Hand and Bright Orthopaedics or book an appointment online today.