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Three Running Injuries You Need to Know About: What Signs to Look for & How to Avoid Them

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

Nothing can be more mentally and physical frustrating than being an injured runner. Running for many of us is a sport, stress relief, a social outing, spiritual, an escape, exercise and much more. That's why we want to keep you healthy! Read on to learn about these 3 running injuries - what to look for and most importantly, HOW TO AVOID THEM!


This is an irritation of the plantar fascia near the insertion at your heel. The tissue is subject to repetitive pulling which results in microtrauma and inflammation.


At first, it might feel like a bruise on the bottom of your heel. This is the BEST time to get it checked out by a PT! If you try the route of home remedies and YouTube videos, you could be in for a painfully long recovery.


Changes to your activity level make you vulnerable to plantar fasciitis. This is true for seasoned pros and newbies alike. Whether you're just getting started as a recreational runner or you've been tearing up the asphalt for years now, no one is exempt from training follies. If you don't already know this one, a good rule of thumb to follow is the 10% rule. The 10% rule cautions runners against increasing their total running mileage by more than 10% from their previous week.

Runners may be cycling through shoes every 6-12 months depending on mileage, usage, weight, etc. You want to keep your feet happy, but making a drastic change like switching from neutral to minimalist too quickly could be the wrong move. Even if you're not putting in a ton of miles, your feet may not agree to their new companions if you don't transition into them properly. This innocent, well-meant change of scenery could set off a nasty case of plantar fasciitis, so beware.


Your achilles tendon is what connects your calf muscles to your heel. When you're running, it allows you to propel yourself forward after you plant and push off through your toe.


When achilles tendinitis starts to set in you'll feel pain either in the cord-like tendon itself or at it's insertion on the back of the heel. DO NOT try to run through this pain! This can go from bad to worse in one stride. Flashing lights should go off telling you to get this checked out before putting in 1 more mile!


Your calf muscles work hard and often when you're running. This is especially true for sprints and hills. Cross-training can be a great way to give your achilles the break it needs. If you need to get some cardio in try rowing, swimming or biking for your endorphin release.


This may or may not come as a surprise, but low back pain is prevalent in many runners. We see this more often in distance runners but it can happen to anyone if you don't have sufficient core control. In an extended position your spine is more passively stable. It relies more on ligaments and bone for stability than the supporting muscles. This is advantageous for your body because you can conserve more energy, BUT it can lead to a medley of problems with your hips and low back.


Watch out for a dull ache or even a sharp stabbing in your low back or top of your buttocks, that may choose one side over the other.


To avoid a "run-in" (no pun intended) with low back pain, try maintaining a neutral pelvic position while you run and keep your belly button slightly drawn in towards your spine. This will activate your transverse abdominus - a critical muscle in spinal stability.

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, give us a call today!

504.407.3477 or you can email me directly at

To learn more about a specific injury, be sure to request one of our Informational Guides under the Patient Information tab on our website.

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