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Getting Back on the Trails

3 Common Running Injuries and How to Heal Them

The repetitive nature of running means prolific runners can be prone to a number of different injuries. However, if you are aware of the most common injuries, you can better understand the reason for your pain and seek out a plan to recover. Most running injuries naturally occur in the lower leg, where runners feel most of the impact when they exercise. Below are the causes and potential solutions for three of the most common injuries for runners.

Shin Splints

Shin splints are characterized by tenderness along the tibia on the inside of the leg. This dull pain is caused by microtears in the calf muscle that separates it from the lining of the bone. Typically, they are caused by running too often on hard surfaces, like concrete or asphalt, or by a depletion of the support in your running shoes. Running on softer surfaces, getting shoes with plenty of arch support, and properly stretching your calves can help protect you from shin splints.

Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are caused by an imbalance in a common process called resorption. When a bone experiences stress, the body’s natural response is to build on the stressed area. When a certain area experiences stress more often than the resorption process can account for, microfractures form, potentially culminating in a stress fracture. Common causes of shin splints include intensifying your training too quickly or having low bone density. Low-impact exercises are the key to giving your bones time to heal from a stress fracture.


Shin splints hit the muscles, stress fractures hit the bones, and tendinitis attacks your Achilles tendons. Tendons attach your muscles to your bones, and swelling in the tendons can decrease your strength and flexibility. Like stress fractures, this can be caused by a sudden intensification of training or quick shifts between training shoes and racing shoes. Calf stretches work to improve the flexibility of tendons, and calf exercises can make them stronger.
Other common causes of the above symptoms are muscular imbalances, postural deficiencies, and improper training. If your running injuries persist, stop by In Motion O.C. Our experienced physical therapists will know what you should do to get back to your favorite running destinations.

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