Common Running Diagnoses

Runners deal with a lot of injuries during training. Here are a few of the most common diagnoses we see related to running. In future posts, we’ll show you some ideas to help with these conditions. 

Heel pain (plantar fasciitis): Plantar fasciitis or plantar fasciopathy describes an irritation of the attachment of the plantar fascia at the base of the heel. Pain is commonly felt at the heel but can affect the entire length of the plantar fascia, which runs from the heel into the ball of the foot. People often feel this pain first thing in the morning but it can also become worse with more activity. You may feel swelling at the arch or heel, or tightness at the calf as well.  

Lateral knee pain (ITB syndrome): Pain can occur at the outside of the knee after increasing training distances. The iliotibial band is a thick band of tissue that runs from the hip to the outside of the knee where a bursa, or fluid-filled sac, sits underneath. Bursae help facilitate movement and reduce friction where tendons and muscles pass over bone. Irritation of this bursa is thought to cause this pain. Pain usually stops immediately with the aggravating movement. Click here for more info on knee pain.

Hip/gluteal pain (piriformis syndrome): The piriformis is a gluteal muscle that attaches from the tailbone to the hip joint. This muscle helps move the leg out and back (external rotation). Runners can experience tightness in this area, which can lead to compression on the sciatic nerve, which may in turn create symptoms down the leg, including pain, numbness, or tingling. This may worse with running, sitting, or climbing stairs.  

If you are experiencing any of these pains, stop the aggravating movement! Correct exercises and running form can have a huge impact on staying healthy, both of which can easily be assessed by a physical therapist. Remember, you can always come in for a free consultation at one of our convenient locations. Stay tuned for exercises to help keep these injuries under control!