The 5 Most Common Running Injuries


At some point in your running career, you are going to get injured. It is inevitable. These are the top 5 running injuries that you will hopefully manage to avoid:

  1. Stress Fractures
  2. Tendonitis
  3. Plantar Fascitis
  4. Runner's Knee
  5. Shin Splints

Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are cracks in the outer layer of a bone from repetitive stress. It is most often caused through over training by increasing mileage at too rapid a rate. Stress fractures can be exacerbated by excessive pronation or supination, which is usually caused by wearing inappropriate shoes.

Stress fractures will usually hurt in a very localized place and will begin as a dull ache that can easily be misinterpreted as a sore muscle. Rest is the best way to cure a stress fracture, although you may want to consider taking supplements with calcium and cutting back on diet soft drinks. They can inhibit your body from absorbing calcium.


Tendonitis is excessive inflammation in your tendons. It begins with a dull aching after you finish running, which gets worse if left untreated. The tendon will begin to ache first thing in the morning after getting out of bed, and then while you are in the act of running. The dull aching will become more acute, until you always feel at least the original dull pain even when you are not working out.

Tendonitis is usually caused by running too far and too fast when your muscles are not flexible enough to support such a workout. The problem can be exacerbated by shoes that have worn out and cause excessive pronation.

The most common form of tendonitis for runners is achilles tendonitis. The achilles tendon connects your heel to your calf, and will usually ache along the back of your leg just above your ankle.

Plantar Fascitis

Plantar fascitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, or the bottom of your foot. This tendon is very hard, like a ligament, and connects the heel of your foot to the ball of your foot.

Every stride that you take, whether walking or running, involves the stretching out of this tendon to absorb the impact of hitting the ground. Tight calf muscles can increase the stress on the tendon and cause increased micro trauma that can lead to inflammation.

The first symptom of plantar fascitis is the feeling of a breeze on the bottom of your foot. Left untreated, it can become painful any time that you are walking or running, and can also bother you if you stand for a long period of time. It will often hurt a lot first thing in the morning when you try to get out of bed.

Runner's Knee

Runner's knee refers to any pain in the knee cap and is usually the direct cause of over training and poor biomechanics. The two most common forms of runner's knee are patellar tendonitis and chondromalacia patella.

Patellar tendonitis is when the pain is localized to the tendon in your knee cap. Chondromalacia patallea means that scarring has occurred because the knee cap does not sit properly in its femoral groove, and the underside has worn down and become rough and deteriorated.

This can be caused by a lack of flexibility in any or all of the quadriceps, hamstrings, or calves. Most often, however, it is caused by a problem with the foot or ankle, usually due to excessively worn shoes and over training. The problem can be exacerbated by excess hill work.

Shin Splints

Shin splints are any pain in the shins and is usually tibial stress syndrome. There are two types of shin splits, anterior and posterior.

Anterior shin splints are really an inflammation of the tendons that attach the front of the shin bone to the outside. It begins as a dull ache on the outside of your shin bone as you run and can get worse until it is painful to walk.

Posterior shin splints are an inflammation of the tendons that attach to the inner side of the shin bone and causes pain in the inner surface of your shin bone extending down to the arches in your feet.

Shin splints can often mask an under stress fracture, especially when there is acute pain and swelling. Without it is really a stress fracture, shin splints are rarely caused by too much mileage. They can be caused by too much hill work or speed work before you are ready for it.

You can read more about the 3 common causes of these 5 injuries and how to prevent them by visiting