Feature Archive

Preventing and Treating Common Running Injuries

Every runner's guide to preventing and treating 10 common pains and sprains.

ByDeniseMann
WebMD Feature

Reviewed ByCharlotteGrayson,MD

"Don't run and you'll heal," are the words that every diehard runner dreads hearing.

"Runners don't want to stop running, and the good news is that you can run through most pain without causing permanent damage," says Lewis G. Maharam, MD, medical director of the New York Road Runners Club, the New York City Marathon, NYC Triathlon, the Suzuki Rock 'n' Roll Marathon -- among others. "But," he cautions, "if pain changes your running style, stop and see a sports doctor."

Most common running injuries are due to overuse, overtraining, or a biomechanical flaw in body structure and motion.

Here's how to prevent and treat the 10 most common running injuries so you never get sidelined again:

1. Runner's knee

Runner's knee is a wearing away of the back of the kneecap, causing pain in the knee. This can occur because of decreased strength of middle quadricep muscles, or shoes that do not give proper support when you come off of your forefoot on the inside. What to do? Maharam says the condition is typically treated with a full-length sports orthotic and strengthening exercises directed at the middle quad muscle. Talk to a sports medicine doctor about getting into physical therapy and learning about the best stretches to heal runner's knee.