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Common Runner Injuries and Recovery


Common Runner Injuries and Recovery

Among the fears of runners, the fear of injury figures prominently. Every year, one in two runners is injured, and it is important to know the most common injuries in sport, especially among runners. This article discusses these common injuries, their treatments, first aid to apply and effective recovery methods.

Tendonitis in Runners

Tendonitis is a common injury among runners. They are characterized by inflammation of the tendons, and the most affected areas are often the Achilles tendon, hip and patella. Runners may feel pain when straining these tendons, as well as tenderness when palpated.

These tendinitis are generally caused by high-intensity repetitive and traumatic movements. Therefore, it is essential to take steps to prevent and treat these injuries. Reducing the training load is necessary to allow the tendons to recover. In addition, rehabilitation through targeted exercises can strengthen the tendons and promote their healing.

Common symptoms of tendonitis:

  • Pain when straining the tendons
  • Sensitivity to palpation
  • Local inflammation
  • Tendon stiffness

Prevention of tendinitis:

  1. Gradually increase training intensity
  2. Practice warm-up exercises before the race
  3. Use suitable shoes with good cushioning
  4. Avoid hard and uneven surfaces
  5. Invest in quality running equipment


Fatigue Fractures in Runners

Stress fractures, sometimes called stress fractures, are common injuries among runners. They mainly occur on the shins, hip or metatarsals. These fractures are difficult to detect because they are not visible on an x-ray before the consolidation phase. However, they cause significant pain which can limit the runner's ability to continue their activity.

The main cause of stress fractures is overuse. When bones experience repeated stress without sufficient time to rest and heal, microfractures form and can eventually develop into complete fractures. Runners who suddenly increase their mileage, training intensity, or fail to allow their body to adequately recover are more likely to develop stress fractures.

Prevention of stress fractures

  • Gradually increase the mileage and training intensity to allow your body to gradually adapt.
  • Give yourself regular rest days to allow your body to recover and strengthen.
  • Invest in running shoes that suit your stride and foot type to reduce the impact on your bones.
  • Balance your workout with muscle-strengthening exercises to support your bones and joints.
  • Consult a qualified healthcare professional if you experience persistent pain or symptoms of stress fractures.

Stress fractures can be one of the most frustrating injuries for runners, as they often require an extended break from their favorite activity. However, by taking appropriate preventive measures and listening to your body, it is possible to minimize the risk of stress fractures and promote a full recovery.

Tibial Periostitis in Runners

Shin shin splints are a common injury among runners. They are characterized by inflammation of the periosteum, the membrane which ensures the insertion of tendons and ligaments on the tibia bone. Shin shin splints generally occur when the training pace increases too quickly, particularly due to repeated impact of the foot on the ground.

Symptoms of shin splints include increasing pain along the shin, which may stop temporarily with cessation of exercise but return if the injury is not treated promptly. To treat shin splints, it is recommended to consult a sports doctor who can assess the severity of the injury and propose a suitable treatment plan.

Here are some basic tips for preventing and treating shin splints:

  • Avoid increasing training volume and intensity too quickly. Gradually increase the distance and intensity of your run.
  • Wear running shoes that suit your foot type and running style.
  • Warm up before each workout and stretch afterward. Focus in particular on the calf muscles.
  • Add muscle strengthening exercises to your workout routine, especially for your calf and ankle muscles.
  • If you experience persistent pain along the shin, stop the activity and consult a healthcare professional.

Windshield Wiper Syndrome in Runners

Windshield wiper syndrome is a common injury among runners. It is characterized by irritation of the iliotibial band, a structure that extends from the hip to the knee. When this band repeatedly rubs against the fat pad between it and the femur, it causes pain on the outside of the knee. This pain may increase with exercise, particularly when running.

Certain running mechanics, such as muscle imbalance or weakness in the stabilizing muscles of the knee, can contribute to the development of wiper syndrome. However, it is possible to prevent this injury by performing targeted strengthening exercises for the lower body muscles. Stretching exercises, correcting running technique and using appropriate footwear can also help prevent windshield wiper syndrome.

Here are some tips for preventing windshield wiper syndrome:

  • Strengthen the stabilizing muscles of the knee and pelvis by doing regular strengthening exercises.
  • Warm up properly before each running session and stretch after exercise to keep your muscles supple.
  • Work on your running technique to avoid excessive movement of the iliotibial band.
  • Wear running shoes that suit your foot type and running style.

Trochanteric Bursitis in Runners

Trochanteric bursitis is a common injury among runners, characterized by inflammation of the hip bursa. It usually occurs when the gluteal muscle is not working enough during the hip sag phase of running. This injury can be very painful and cause significant discomfort during physical activity.

To treat trochanteric bursitis, it is essential to start with rest, to allow the inflammation to subside. Applying ice can also help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Once the pain is under control, rehabilitation is necessary to strengthen the gluteal muscle to prevent relapses and promote complete healing.

Symptoms of trochanteric bursitis

  • Pain outside the hip
  • Sensitivity to pressure in the hip area
  • Difficulty walking or running without pain

Prevention of trochanteric bursitis

  • Make sure you have good running technique, avoiding movements that put too much strain on the hip
  • Do glute muscle strengthening exercises to maintain strength and stability
  • Avoid increasing the training load too quickly

Other Common Injuries Among Runners

Muscle Injuries

Muscle injuries are common among runners and can include muscle tears, strains, and cramps. They are often caused by overuse, muscle imbalance or poor running technique. It is essential to warm up properly before exercise, stretch regularly and strengthen the muscles to avoid these injuries. In the event of a muscle injury, it is recommended to apply cold compresses, rest and consult a healthcare professional if pain persists.

Ligament and Joint Injuries

Ligaments and joints can also be prone to injury in runners. Sprains and strains are common injuries that can occur from poor support or excessive twisting of the ankle, knee or foot. It is important to strengthen the muscles around the joints, use proper footwear, and exercise caution when running to avoid these injuries. For ligament or joint injuries, it is recommended to apply cold compresses, rest the injured area and consult a professional if necessary.

Tendon and Bone Injuries

Tendons and bones can also be prone to injury in runners. Tendonitis, such as Achilles tendinitis, and stress fractures are common injuries that can occur from overuse or repetitive motions. It is important to respect rest periods, do appropriate strengthening exercises, and consult a healthcare professional if symptoms of tendon or bone injury occur. Application of ice and immobilization of the injured area may also be recommended.


In summary, to prevent common injuries, we need to take a progressive approach to training and strengthen our bodies through targeted exercises. In the event of an injury, we must consult a health professional to obtain adequate follow-up. By following these recommendations, we will be able to prevent injuries and promote rapid and effective recovery, allowing us to fully enjoy our passion for running.


What are the most common injuries among runners?

The most common injuries among runners include tendinitis, stress fractures, shin splints, wiper syndrome, and trochanteric bursitis, as well as other muscle, ligament, joint, tendon, and bone injuries.

How to treat tendonitis?

Treatment of tendonitis requires a reduction in training load and rehabilitation through targeted exercises.

How to detect stress fractures?

Stress fractures are not visible on an x-ray before the consolidation phase, but they cause pain and require a complete cessation of sporting activity.

How to treat shin splints?

The treatment of shin splints consists of strengthening exercises and postural rehabilitation.

How to prevent windshield wiper syndrome?

Wiper syndrome can be prevented with targeted strengthening exercises.

How to cure trochanteric bursitis?

Trochanteric bursitis can be cured through rest and rehabilitation, followed by targeted strengthening exercises to prevent relapse.

What are other common injuries among runners?

Other common runner injuries include muscle injuries, ligament injuries, joint injuries, tendon injuries, and bone injuries. Care and recovery for these injuries varies depending on their severity and location.

How to effectively prevent and recover from common injuries?

To prevent common injuries, it is recommended to carry out a gradual increase in training intensity and targeted strengthening exercises. In the event of an injury, it is important to consult a sports doctor to obtain adequate follow-up and promote complete recovery. Proper nutrition and hydration also play an important role in injury prevention and recovery.

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