Running is a great way to stay active and healthy, and it doesn’t matter if you move slow or fast. Both old and young people can find enjoyment in running either outdoors or on a treadmill, but what happens when you experience pain? Every stride you take while running places force on your joints. Eventually, continuous force may lead to pain in the hips, knees, or ankles. If you have ever become frustrated with or curious about the pain you experience while running, we have 7 reasons why it may be happening to you.
1. Shin Splints
It only takes one mistake and a shin splint occurs. Shin splints are characterized by either a dull pain that does not go away or a sharp pain that occurs when running. Typically, runners who take an extended break and then jump back in and run full force develop shin splints. Additionally, individuals with weak muscles or who over-extend their knees when running are prone to developing shin splints. As soon as you notice your shin splint, apply ice and rest. It is almost important to ease in to running after taking a long break.
2. Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis develops in the heel or arch of the feet. Often times, it shows itself when you stand up after sleeping or sitting for a long period of time. However, it can also reveal itself during running. Some helpful ways you can ease plantar fasciitis so it does not prevent you from running is by regularly icing your feet, wearing supportive shoes, and even using medical tape to wrap it.
Brand new running shoes are always exciting to receive or purchase for yourself. The only downside of slipping into them for a run is having to break them in. Depending on how the shoe hugs the back of your ankle and side of your feet, you may develop blisters. Blisters inflict pain with every step you take, and often they are painful enough where the runner has to stop moving altogether. What you want to do is cover the blister in a band-aid and remove it when you get home to allow it to breathe.
4. Lactic Acid Build-up
As acid builds up in the bloodstream during a run, it can cause an uncomfortable burning sensation in the legs. This may be a reason why you are experiencing pain during a run, but it is only a temporary feeling. A helpful way to prevent this from happening is to pace yourself. Start off slow to let your muscles warm up and then give it all you got. As you notice lactic acid building-up, slow down to let muscles recover.
5. Neglecting Stretching
Stretching can be a tedious task that some runners rush through or fail to do at all. Think of stretching as a task your muscles need to be healthy. You do not have to spend an hour stretching, but you should spend at least 10 minutes focusing on the muscles you just worked. Additionally, giving your muscles a good shake before hitting the pavement will prevent any pain during the run.
Not consuming enough water can cause pain while running. Our muscles need adequate amounts of water to avoid cramping and to move with ease. Therefore, ensuring you are drinking a minimum of 8-10 cups of fresh water daily (more if you sweat a lot) will help with pain while exercising. Other beverages that provide the body with proper hydration are natural coconut water and pure fruit juice.
7. Clenched Muscles
Sometimes we do not notice that we are clenching our muscles. Factors such as stress, habit, and our thoughts can cause us to tense up while running. As a result, the tension can cause muscle and joint pain. Additionally, you can pull a muscle from not loosening up. The best way to start a run is to be mindful of your muscles – let go of any stress and relax the shoulders, neck, and fists. This will result in a more natural feeling run and a more enjoyable one, too!
Running is an enjoyable way to get in shape and stay active. Whether you prefer to run inside or outside where you can breathe in fresh air, being able to engage in this activity without pain is important. If you notice pain in your feet, ankles, knees, hips, or anywhere else, consider these 7 reasons why it may be happening.