The adage, prevention is better than cure, is an adage for a reason. When you exercise or train, there is always that risk of you suffering from an injury. Running, for instance, is associated with different kinds of niggles and injuries; their treatment may be as simple as applying ice on the injured area or as serious as a surgery. Either way, by taking preventive measures, your risk of suffering from them is reduced, if not totally eliminated.

There are niggles and injuries that are commonly associated with running. We will list them down, together with the ways to prevent them.

Running Niggles

  • Blisters:
  • While blisters are common, particularly among endurance runners, they can be avoided. They take place when layers of skin pull apart and fill up with fluid; this fluid is a result of a buildup of heat from friction or pressure. Their prevention starts with buying the correct size of trainers. Wearing nylon socks instead of cotton and moisturising your feet before running.

  • Runners Nipple:
  • This niggle is characterised by inflammation and bleeding of the nipple, which is a result of the constant friction of clothing over the nipple area. This can be prevented by covering the nipples in petroleum jelly or using a sticking plaster.

  • Cramp:
  • This takes place when a muscle starts to spasm and contracts intensely. Its causes are a subject of debate, but it is often associated with dehydration, tired and shortened muscles, and an imbalance of electrolytes. This can be prevented by stretching regularly and drinking a lot of water. Maintaining a balance of electrolytes is also important, which can be done through vitamin and mineral supplementation.

  • Athletes Foot:
  • A fungal infection of the skin, it is characterised by scaling, flaking, and itching of the affected areas. Because it thrives in warm, moist conditions, it is usually worsened when you wear tightly fitting running shoes. Athletes foot prevention includes washing and drying your feet regularly and thoroughly, particularly the area between the toes. This can also be prevented by using freshly washed socks all the time.

Serious Running Injuries

  • Achilles Tendonitis:
  • Considered as one of the most common running injuries, Achilles tendonitis causes discomfort when standing on your toes. Sufferers of this injury will also feel pain that tends to worsen the longer they exercise; this pain can be a result of fatigue in the calf muscle, nerve damage, or poor circulation. This can be prevented by warming up properly and wearing running shoes that have good shock absorption. Gradual increase in distances and intensities as training progresses also helps.

  • Ankle Sprain:
  • This generally happens because of an awkward foot placing on impact, twisting the ankles uncontrollably. Right after the injury, quick bruising and swelling will be experienced. It may affect both the bones and ligaments, but damage to the ligament is more common. When the sprain is minor, you may just hobble for a few minutes; however, a severe one can take months to fully heal. Choosing your route carefully is one way to prevent this from taking place. If you run at night, pick a route that allows you to clearly see the surfaces you are running on.

  • Anterior Compartment Syndrome:
  • It is brought about by increased pressure within the muscles. You may experience this after you have undergone excessive uphill running and jumping, which causes the tibialis anterior muscle to expand and produce fluid that then stretches the compartment sheath. This can be prevented through a thorough warm up and gradual increase in distance or intensity.

  • Shin Splints:
  • It is a general term used to describe various shin problems. Its symptoms include aching, throbbing, and tenderness along the inside of the shin about halfway down or along the entire shin. This discomfort may be a result of inflamed tendons on the inside of the front of the lower leg. Strengthening the tibialis anterior muscles can help prevent this. It can be done by using a resistance band, which is wrapped around a solid object and around your foot. To strengthen the area, move your foot up and down against the bands resistance. Replacing worn out shoes, warming up properly, and running on softer surfaces are also some ways to prevent shin splints from occurring.

The niggles and injuries associated with running and other sporting activities should not stop you from being active. With some know-how in preventing them, you get to enjoy and benefit from these activities to the maximum.

To avoid any form of lifting injury, use wrist straps for lifting.