Fitness Articles

5 Common Running and Walking Injuries

How to Prevent and Treat Pain from Running and Walking

What causes plantar fasciitis?
Some common causes of plantar fasciitis include:
  • Overtraining (especially long-distance running, walking, jogging or stair climbing)
  • Conditions like arthritis or diabetes
  • Poor foot anatomy and mechanics, such as flat feet, high arches or abnormal weight distribution
  • Inadequate shoes (type, fit, cushioning) and wearing high heels
What can be done to ease the pain of plantar fasciitis?
Treatment is most successful when started as soon as the symptoms and pain first occur. If treatment is limited or postponed, the condition can become chronic (it may lead to a bone spur) and much more difficult to treat. Typical treatment includes:
  • Stretch and massage the calf and arch of the foot, especially in the morning. Many times stretching alone will alleviate the problem. One effective stretch is to stand on the edge of a step or stair while holding onto a railing or wall for support. Let your heel hang off the back edge of the step (one at a time) until you feel a stretch. Hold this for stretch for one to five minutes and repeat several times a day. 
  • Resting from exercising
  • Ice and anti-inflammatory medicine to decrease the inflammation
  • Arch supports (orthotics), especially if you have very flat or extremely high arches
If the pain does not lessen with these treatments or if the pain has been presents for months then you should see a doctor. 
Shin Splints
What are shin splints?
Shin splints (also known as tibial stress syndrome) are a not a single medical condition, but a symptom of one of several underlying problems.
What are the symptoms of shin splints?
The dull pain of shin splints causes the front of the shin to ache, either chronically or only during exercise.
What causes shin splints?
Some common causes of shin splints include:
  • Changing the surface you usually run or walk on (such as formerly running on a track and then doing so on a sidewalk)
  • Ramping up your workout suddenly in intensity or duration
The underlying issues that lead to shin splints include:
  • Overuse of leg muscles
  • Stress fractures (tiny breaks in the lower leg bones)
  • Overpronation or ''flat feet"
What can be done to ease the pain of shin splints?
  • Resting from exercising
  • Ice and anti-inflammatory medicine to decrease the inflammation
  • Arch supports (orthotics), especially if you have very flat or extremely high arches
  • Range of motion exercises
Achilles Tendinopathy
What is Achilles tendinopathy?
Achilles tendinopathy refers to both Achilles tendinitis (an inflamation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf to the heel bone) and Achilles tendinosis (tiny tears in and around the tendon). While many doctors refer to all Achilles pain as tendinopathy, tendinosis is actually much more common.
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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.

Member Comments

  • Great article! What I thought was just a few muscle pulls was Shin splints that once treated correctly were relieved! - 10/14/2015 3:43:20 PM
  • By following the recommendations of always warming up, never increasing distance or elevation too fast, always stretching afterwards and wearing shoes appropriate for your type of feet and stride, even someone with flat, over-pronating feet like me can run comfortably for decades.

    Good article. - 4/27/2015 10:11:13 AM
  • I have suffered from IBT for YEARS but until I read this I wasn't sure what it was called. My hip pops and cracks shortly after I start fitness walking and sometimes it gets quite sore. It's loud enough that my DH can hear it. Ouch!

    - 4/27/2015 7:06:26 AM
    This is my 2nd day of the 30 day walking challenge! - 4/9/2015 1:29:50 PM
    Hi. I think I can do this challenge, 10 minutes walking........ - 4/7/2015 6:26:33 AM
  • I have Plantar Fasciitis plus Neuropathy! For the Plantar Fasciitis I went through about 15 physical therapy sessions, stretching, soaking, etc. None of these helped much until I got Orthotic inserts! Big difference!!! - 8/27/2014 11:33:37 AM
  • SILVIA1961
    I just started one of the Sparks programs, 5 weeks to a 5 K. I am taking my dog out on the walk/run program. I feel guilty if I leave him behind. - 12/22/2013 6:19:37 PM
  • I just started jogging. I think I'll rest tomorrow and just lift weights. I do ice and take iboprofen. - 8/26/2013 8:20:15 PM
  • Right now I have three of the five injuries and I don't run - I got them from issues I have with arthritis and just plain walking!
    Coach Nicole has a video using the foam roller for a releasing the tightness of ITB - very helpful but hurts like heck! - 8/26/2013 3:31:19 PM
  • I started running and was fine until after my first 5K. After the run, I moved my knee wrong, and felt a sharp pain in my knee and hip. It lasted a couple of hours, and my knee was very tender after it. I let my leg heal for a few weeks and after I stopped feeling any pain I tried running again, and sure enough the pain came back. So I gave up running. But every now and again my knee will hurt. So I asked my Dr and the response was, "Yeah that happens to everyone who runs. I suggest you try other activities." (which was not at all helpful) - 8/26/2013 1:09:20 PM

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