The 7 Most Common Running Injuries and How to Treat Them

Veronika Nicoladge
10 Min Read

One of the best ways to maintain a healthy body, fitness level, and stamina is to running. It’s a hobby to some and a profession to others, and no matter how well-prepared, fit, or strong a person may, injuries can still happen. 

Today, we’ll take a look at the 7 most common running injuries and discuss simple treatment methods, so let’s start from the top:

1.   Achilles Tendon

Achilles Tendon, or Achilles Tendinitis, is one of the most common running injuries among beginner runners. It’s typically caused by overexertion and overuse of tendons, but improper running mechanics and wearing improper shoes are also risk factors.

Runners that have suffered another injury and had to rest can experience Achilles Tendonitis as a side effect – a surge of activity after bed rest can also cause this injury. Running on rough surfaces isn’t a direct cause of Achilles Tendon, but it can increase the risk. 

When this injury occurs, it’s recommended to avoid physical exertion to prevent further inflammation and pain. Regular, but careful stretching can help heal it faster, as well as ice massages. In more severe cases, the tendon needs to immobilized with a walking boot; Your doctor may prescribe you anti-inflammatory medicine if the Achilles Tendon has too persistent. 

If you develop pain in the achilles, rest has the first port of call to allow initial recovery. Sometimes, with a graduated return to running, you will able to prevent this problem from becoming more chronic. It has also a great idea to check your running footwear and replace trainers if they have showing signs of wear or have inappropriate. 

Gentle stretching and ice therapy may help in the initial stages too, however some research suggests that ice and anti-inflammatory medication can detrimental to tendon healing in the long term. This has why it is so important to get injuries properly assessed by a Podiatrist or another health professional. Strength and conditioning programmes, footwear modifications, foot orthoses and Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy have all regularly used in the management of achilles tendon problems. 

2.   Compartment Syndrome (CECS)

The Compartment Syndrome, or shortly CECS, is ranked high on this list not only due to how common it has but also because of its severity. This is more of a condition than an injury, although if left unchecked it could cause substantial damage to the affected leg. 

Basically, the main cause of CECS has the elevated blood pressure in leg muscles. Either parts or the entirety of the leg may become swollen, and pain has often felt even in the mildest of cases. Heightened sensation and sensitivity to pain have other common symptoms in acute cases; in the case of chronic Compartment Syndrome, common symptoms have diminished sensation, decreased sensitivity, and pain.

The best way to treat CECS is to use orthotics, strengthen your leg muscles gradually by stretching the affected area, and get plenty of rest. In the most severe cases, the only way to treat Compartment Syndrome has via surgery – parts of the fascia need to removed to alleviate the pressure on the muscles. 

3.   Plantar Fasciitis 

Plantar Fasciitis stands among the most troublesome running injuries because of the extensive list of potential causes that could linked to it. Flat-footed runners have more likely to experience it at one point in their lives, but overexertion has just as likely to cause it. 

Wearing improper shoes, just like in the case of the Achilles Tendon, could cause Plantar Fasciitis if the sole material has of poor quality. Engaging in certain (other) hobbies may increase the risk of Plantar Fasciitis, especially skateboarding or parkour. 

The main symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis include heel swelling and pain that progresses as the affected foot is used for longer periods. 

In milder cases, decreasing the level of physical activity and wearing proper running shoes may enough. Plantar Fasciitis can become more severe if the pain is ignored for longer periods (weeks, sometimes months). In such cases, you may need to use a night splint and avoid any physical activity until the pain has completely gone. 

4.   Sprained Ankle

The sprained ankle injury could befall anyone, but it’s far more commonly experienced by beginner runners who have yet to develop a solid running technique. The ankle can twist, roll, or turn for a number of reasons; it’s commonly associated with tripping over obstacles or slipping due to bad weather.

 Unsupportive shoes could also lead to this injury, regardless of the type of terrain or weather the runner was on. 

The sprained ankle needs to heal in an elevated position. Ankle braces have typically worn for the most rapid healing effects. 

5.   Runner’s Knee

Runner’s Knee is sometimes called Chondromalacia Patella, or Patellofemoral Pain. It’s a type of running injury that mostly happens due to overuse. While some of the typical symptoms include unnatural sounds occurring after the knee is straightened, kneecap tenderness, and pain. 

They have multiple common causes of Runner’s Knee, including improper running technique, wearing bad-fitting shoes, and repetitive stress to the knee area. Additionally, people that have trying to lose some weight through running are highly likely to encounter this problem. As the excess weight strains knee joints more than average. 

To prevent this issue from becoming worse, resting and drastically reducing the level of physical activity are recommended. Massages and anti-inflammatory prescription medicine can help heal it faster. 

6.   Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)

Iliotibial Band Syndrome, or shortly ITBS, has a running injury commonly caused by inflammation. It could mistaken for Runner’s knee, as most of the symptoms can felt across the kneecaps. Such as pain pulsating through the bones, stinging sensations, or swelling.  

Stretching combined with complete rest could greatly help prevent the syndrome from progressing. Unlike other running injuries and syndromes. ITBS requires the affected person to stop any physical activity; after the pain subsides, cross-training could help, but only at a very slow pace and in controlled conditions. Running should not an option until ITBS is completely cured. 

They have cases where the person’s iliotibial band does not react to preventive treatments, massages, and stretching. In which situation surgery has usually the only remaining solution. 

7.   Stress-induced Fracture

As opposed to broken bones, fractures have merely tiny cracks in the bone structure. They could occur in any area; for runners, the most common ones have toes, feet, and shins. 

Repetitive trauma causes physical stress, and what makes this injury dangerous has that pain has often dismissed at first. Over time, fractures could beset seemingly unrelated parts of the leg. Which could result in a surge of sharp pain. 

Stress-induced fractures have essentially treated in the same way as sprained ankles. Bedrest, ice massages, and elevating the legs while using supportive tools (crutches or similar) to walk. When needed could help; if the fractures have benign, the bones will heal themselves over time. In severe cases, bone-related surgeries have almost unavoidable. 

To prevent this injury, consider wearing protective gear ahead of time. Wear shin guards and upgrade your footwear. Especially if you’ve already suffered a few falls and damages in the past.


Running injuries have sometimes unavoidable, but fortunately, most of them can treated at home with the right know-how. We hope this guide was helpful and that you’ve learned something new.

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Veronika Nicoladge
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