Running isn't exactly a contact sport, but there are still plenty of injury risks associated with the activity.
Check out a few tips below to make sure you steer clear of a bad case of shin splints or annoying knee pain.
Shin splints are small tears where lower leg muscles attach to the shin bone and are caused from overuse. Typically, they occur because the calf muscle becomes stronger than the tibialis anterior (the muscle outside of the shin).
To prevent these painful tears, stretch your calves regularly and take advantage of toe and heel walks to help balance muscles on the lower leg.
Runner's knee is pain in or around the knee often caused by tight hamstrings and calves paired with weak quads.
To prevent this pain in the knee, strengthen quads with wall squats, for example, and stretch the hamstrings regularly, but particularly after running.
ITB Syndrome is characterized by a sharp pain on the outside of the knee and is caused because the iliotibial band (connective tissue to the pelvis) pulls the knee cap out of alignment.
The best prevention is a daily massage with a foam roller on the outside of your leg, but also strengthening stabilizing muscles on the sides of the pelvis helps too.
Plantar Fasciitis is pain in the heel and arch of the foot caused by microscopic tears when the foot muscles are pulled taut.
Stretching paired with strengthening, such as toe scrunches, is the best prevention. To perform a toe scrunch pull your toes back toward your heel about 50 times in less than a minute.
[Image via AP Images.]
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