Running Injuries & Helpful Preventions

By Greg Treadway / Posted on January 23, 2015

With the new year has come typical new year’s resolutions. One of the most popular is to lose a few pounds or get back in shape. Since cardio is the best way to shed those pounds and running and jogging are the most effective – many people will be taking to the trails in the coming weeks. After all, we’re only a couple of months away from beach and bikini time.

Those coming back to running will find that injuries may abound if you’re not cautious and even if you are careful the calf and ankle injuries may haunt you until to firm up. Sure, side cramps will likely be by your side for a couple of weeks – but they can be overcome. Those leg injuries on the other hand are nothing to mess around with.


The most common of injuries is going to be the sprained ankle. The way this plays out is through stumbling or an awkward footplant followed by terrible pain right in the ankle area. Shortly thereafter you’ll begin to feel and see some swelling. Remember RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation).


Following your injury you’ll see bruising and swelling that will confirm your injury and whether you mad a misstep or a sprain. There is always the possibility that a sprain may involve bones and ligaments, too. If you only have local tenderness over the ligaments, a case can be made for not x-raying the ankle. Any suspicion of a fracture as indicated by bone pain makes an x-ray mandatory. Oddly enough, a simple sprain may cause you much more swelling and bruising than a fracture!

If you do not apply RICE immediately, you are going to be in trouble for the long term. You’ll experience a loss of balance which is a clear indication that you should stay off the foot. Hard-core runners will tell you that you can run through it. This might be true with a simple turn or twist, but a full swollen sprain is nothing to run off.

Your recovery time is going to be anywhere from six hours to six months, depending on the severity of the sprain and how intensively you treat and rehabilitate it. A minor sprain may simply make you hobble for a few minutes before it eases completely, but a severe tear that makes weight-bearing painful could stop you completely for two or three weeks. Once the swelling goes down – no more than a day or two then you need to start walking again. But if you go too hard or fast get ready to re-injure the area.