Common Running Pain Diagnoses

Common Running Pain Diagnoses

Runners deal with a lot of injuries during training! Here, we will provide brief descriptions on diagnoses commonly related to running and, in future posts, give you ideas on how to help.

1. Heel pain (plantar fasciitis): Plantar fasciitis or plantar fasciopathy is 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. Pain is usually felt first thing in the morning but can also become worse with more activity. You may feel swelling at the arch or heel, or tightness at the calf as well.

2. Lateral knee pain (ITB syndrome): Pain can occur at the outside of the knee after increasing training distances. The iliotibial band runs from the hip to the outside of the knee and a bursa, or fluid-filled sac, sits underneath. It is thought the irritation of this bursa is what causes the pain. Pain usually stops immediately with the aggravating movement.

3. Hip/gluteal pain (piriformis syndrome): The piriformis is a gluteal muscle that attaches from the tailbone to the hip joint. It is associated with moving 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! The correct exercises and running form can have a huge impact on staying healthy, both of which can easily be assessed by a physical therapist. Stay tuned for exercises to help keep these injuries under control!