Although jogging is one of the most convenient and low cost ways of burning fat; lowering your stress level; and improving your heart health; jogging injuries occur frequently.
As a higher impact sport, jogging can strain muscles, bones, and joints. When you jog, every time your foot strikes the ground’s surface, force is produced that is equal to approximately three times your body weight. With this said, it’s understandable why 70% of joggers will experience an injury at some point in time.
As a jogger, you are most susceptible to injuries at the following four times:
During the initial 4-6 months of starting a jogging program
When you start back into the routine of jogging after recovering from an injury
When you increase your distance speed
When you increase your speed
Many types of jogging injuries are possible. Four of the most commonly experienced ones are:
Runner’s knee - You may experience soreness all around and sometimes behind the kneecap; your knee may feel stiff and sore after sitting down for long periods; and you might even hear a clicking sound when you bend or extend your knee.
Plantar Fasciitis – You may feel severe pain in your heel when you first step out of bed in the morning. The stabbing or burning pain of plantar fasciitis is usually worse in the morning because the fascia tightens overnight.
Iliotibial band syndrome – The pain of this injury is usually felt on the outside of the knee; however, you may also feel sharp, burning knee or hip pain.
Shin Splints – This is a common injury among beginning runners who do too much too soon.
Anterior shin splints cause pain on the outside of your lower leg along the shin. Posterior shin splints damage the muscles on the inside of your lower leg, producing pain in the soft tissue behind the bone.
Some jogging injuries can be prompted by your own body’s particular anatomic abnormalities, such as:
Pain in the groin can be triggered by hip disorders that you may or may not be aware of.
Back pain can be caused by weak abdominal muscles as well as pre-existing back conditions.
Back pain that radiates down your leg should be checked out by your physician.
If you have a luxating or floating kneecap, jogging may put you at risk for injuring your knee.
Ankle laxity can lead to frequent ankle sprains.
If you suffer a minor jogging injury, the basic approach for treatment includes rest or modification of your jogging routine to allow time for healing and reduction of inflammation. If, however, your injury is more severe, producing extreme pain, swelling, or loss of motion, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Many people of all ages enjoy jogging. You don’t have to be perfectly fit or toned to begin jogging, but it’s always recommended that you visit your physician before adding a new exercise routine to your lifestyle. And, as with any fitness activity, warming up before you jog is highly advised to help prevent jogging injuries.