Common running injuries

Find out about the most common running injuries and how to treat them


Although there are dozens of injuries you could pick up during training, there are some which crop up more often than others. Below is a list of common injuries, their, causes, how to diagnose them and how to treat them.


Shin Splints

The term “Shin Splints” is the general name given to pain in the lower leg. It is perhaps the most common infliction experienced by runners, so it is advisable to be aware of the symptoms so that you can catch the condition early.

The trouble with “Shin Splints” is that there are a number of different types, so diagnosing them yourself can be tricky. It is advisable, as with any injury, to use this guide to shed light on an injury and then seek professional advice to get an official diagnosis.

The most common reasons for contracting shin splints include:

  • A sudden increase in running mileage
  • A change of running surface
  • Incorrect running shoes
  • Over pronation

Achilles Tendon Injury

The Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body, originates from the calf muscle and attaches itself to the back of the heel.

Tenderness in the Achilles can arise for a number of different reasons and at different levels of discomfort. Pain can arise from a change in running surface or intensity or biomechanical reasons.

The pain usually presents itself as a feeling of “stiffness,” on the tendon or where it attaches to the heel, with symptoms often worse in the morning.

If your Achilles starts to feel a little tender, it is best to let it rest and not risk running on it. Apply ice on the affected area and take it easy for a few days. If pain persists, catch the injury early and seek professional advice.

As always, prevention is better than cure. To reduce your chances of damaging your Achilles tendon, keep your calf muscles well stretched and make sure your trainers are right for you.

Runner’s nipple

Although “runner’s nipple” is not an injury that will stop you being able to race and unlikely to experience during a shorter run, it is certainly one that can be very sore and even induce bleeding.

The cause is simply due to the nipple rubbing on the running top. The easiest way to avoid this is to put plasters over the nipples.

Black toenails

Due to the constant pounding your feet and toes receive during your training, pressure can build under the toe nail and cause it to go black. You know you are into serious running when this happens as it generally occurs when you start doing the longer distances. Do not be alarmed, if you look down and a toe or two have started turning a little darker than usual or if it eventually comes off. It is something that all runners will experience and very little can be done to avoid it.

In the meantime, if you have a niggle and are looking for any form of support or taping for that dodgy knee or ankle, physioroom is a great place to buy any taping or strapping that you need.

Find out more about how to prevent running injuries.

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