Fitness Articles

5 Common Running and Walking Injuries

How to Prevent and Treat Pain from Running and Walking

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What are the symptoms of Achilles tendinopathy?
Pain and swelling in the ankle are the most common symptoms. The pain can range from mild to severe and may only happen upon running or walking. The ankle may also become weak and inflexible.
 
What causes Achilles tendinopathy?
Some common causes of Achilles tendinopathy:
  • Overuse of ankles
  • Ramping up your workout suddenly in intensity or duration.
What can be done to ease the pain of Achilles tendinopathy?
It can take week or months for the Achilles tendon to repair itself. Typical treatments include:
  • Resting from exercising
  • Ice and anti-inflammatory medicine to decrease the inflammation
  • Wearing supportive footwear
  • Stretching exercises 
Sprains and Strains
 
What is the difference between a sprain and a strain?
Both sprains and strains are painful injuries that involve stretching or tearing, but sprains involve ligaments (which connect two bones together at a joint), while strains involve muscles or tendons (which connect muscles to bones).
 
What causes a sprain or strain?
Falling, twisting or getting hit can force a joint out of its normal position, causing a ligament to be stretched or torn. The most commonly sprained area of the body is the ankle, but wrists, knees and even fingers can be sprained. A strain is usually caused by a violent contraction, excessive force or other excessive use of an injured part of the body (such as repetitive motion that causes pain). 
 
What are the symptoms of a sprain or strain?
Both sprains and strains present with pain, inflammation and, sometimes, bruising. 
 
What can be done to ease the pain of a sprain?
Recovering from a sprain or strain varies in duration from days to weeks. 
 
Initial treatment of either injury should be RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation). If the sprain or strain is severe, the area should be immobilized. Once swelling has subsided, range of motion exercises should begin, followed by strengthening exercises. Return to sports should not occur until there is no swelling and pain is not present with activity. The "no pain, no gain" philosophy will only prolong the injury. If severe pain or swelling persists for more than a week, you should see your doctor. You may need an X-ray to rule out a break or fracture.
 
For the most serious sprains and strains, you may need to seek professional physical therapy to fully heal the injury and prevent a reoccurrence.
 
This article has been reviewed and approved by Jen Mueller, Certified Personal Trainer and Advanced Health & Fitness Specialist.
 
Sources
Khaund, Razib, M.D., Flynn, Sharon H., M.D. "Illiotibial Band Syndrom: A Common Source of Knee Pain," American Family Physician, 2005 Apr 15;71(8):1545-1550.
 
WebMD, "Understanding Sprains and Strains," www.webmd.com, accessed on April 18, 2013.
 
WebMD, "Shin Splints," www.webmd.com, accessed on April 18, 2013.
 
WebMD, "Achilles Tendon Problems," www.webmd.com, accessed on April 18, 2013.
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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

  • 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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