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Common Overuse Running Injuries


Updated March 27, 2014

Runners of all levels can suffer from overuse or overtraining injuries. They are caused when runners ramp up their mileage quickly, run too hard, and don't allow for proper recovery time. Here are some of the more common overuse injuries:

Achilles Tendonitis

Ankle injury
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Achilles tendonitis is an injury that occurs when your Achilles tendon -- the large band of tissues connecting the muscles in the back of your lower leg to your heel bone -- becomes inflamed or irritated.

Hamstring Strains

Muscle pulls and strains are common and annoying injuries for runners, marked by pain and tightness in the affected muscle. Your hamstrings work hard when you're running, so the muscle frequently gets strained if you ramp up your mileage too quickly.

Heel pain (Plantar Fasciitis)

Plantar fasciitis is heel pain is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia -- the tough band of tissue that supports the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.

Illiotibial Band Syndrome

Marked by a sharp, burning knee or hip pain, Illiotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is a very common injury among runners, especially those that run too much, too soon.

Knee Pain (Runner's Knee)

Runners knee injury
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A common complaint among long-distance runners, runner's knee feels like a soreness around and sometimes behind the kneecap.

Shin Splints

One of the most common injuries for beginner runners, shin splints are characterized by pain in the front of the lower leg.

Stress Fractures

Stress fractures, or tiny cracks in the surface of a bone, most frequently happen when runners increase the intensity and volume of their training over several weeks to a few months.

Tight Calves

Tight calf muscles are often caused by increasing your mileage too quickly and/or not stretching properly.

Also see: 7 Steps to Running Injury Prevention

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