Fitness Articles

5 Common Running and Walking Injuries

How to Prevent and Treat Pain from Running and Walking

Both running and walking are simple ways to get a great cardiovascular workout with no equipment beyond a sturdy pair of athletic shoes. But these common activities can lead to pain and injury if you're not careful. Here are five of the most common issues suffered by runners and walkers, how to prevent them and how to soothe the pain they can cause.
ITB Syndrome
What is ITB syndrome?
The Iliotibial Band (ITB or IT Band) is the thick band of fibrous tissue (fascia) that runs on the lateral side of your leg from your hip to your knee. ITB syndrome, common among runners, walkers and cyclists, occurs when the IT Band becomes irritated and inflamed as a result of overuse.
What are the symptoms of ITB syndrome?
Pain at the outside part of the knee (or less commonly at the outer part of the hip) is a common symptom. The pain usually occurs at the middle or end of a run (or ride), and is more intense on hills, stairs or inclines. It can cause a popping in the knee or snapping of the hip as well. 
What causes ITB syndrome?
Some common causes of ITB syndrome include one:
  • Overpronation (excessive inward rolling) of the feet
  • Weak hip and/or gluteus muscles
  • Overtraining (especially sudden increases in mileage or inclines)
  • Differences in leg lengths (which can occur by running on small indoor tracks)
  • Inadequate shoes (type, fit, cushioning)
What can be done to ease the pain of ITB syndrome?
  • Rest from exercise (especially from inclines and stairs). Only continue workouts that do not bring on pain.
  • Ice and anti-inflammatory medication to decrease the inflammation
  • Stretch and massage the area
  • Wear proper shoes. If your feet continue to overpronate, even with proper footwear, consider purchasing orthotics. (Insurance may cover orthotics, if prescribed by your doctor or chiropractor).    
If pain continues for more than two weeks and the above treatments do not resolve it, see your doctor to rule out other factors that may be causing the problem.
Plantar Fasciitis
What is plantar fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is the thick band of fibrous tissue (fascia) that attaches the bottom of the heel bone to the toes. The purpose of the plantar fascia is to absorb shock and support the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of this tissue, caused by repetitive stretching and tearing. 
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
Experiencing pain with the first few steps you take each morning that seems to lessen with movement is a common symptom. However, the area usually becomes painful again with prolonged standing or walking.
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About The Author

Megan Patrick Megan Patrick
Megan Lane Patrick has been a professional writer and editor for the past 16 years, and was a chronic dieter for at least 30. A combination of weight-loss surgery, mindful eating and daily exercise finally allowed her to maintain a weight loss of more than 100 pounds. When she's not lifting weights at the gym, you can find her walking shelter dogs as a volunteer for the SPCA.

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