5 Exercises to Prevent Common Running Injuries

At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, our physiatrists are dedicated to relieving pain and restoring function using nonsurgical treatment methods. From our five offices in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, we offer personalized care to patients all over Long Island, many of whom have running-related sports injuries

Recognizing the prevalence of these issues, we want to spread the word about how such injuries can be prevented through proper exercise. This blog shares rejuvenating exercises that can fortify your body against common running ailments, ensuring that your runs will be safer and more enjoyable.

Common Running Injuries

Runners often encounter a range of injuries due to repetitive stress and improper running techniques. Here are five common problems that affect runners:

  • Plantar Fasciitis: pain due to inflammation of the band of tissue beneath the foot.
  • Shin Splints (medial tibial stress syndrome): pain along the shinbone.
  • Runner’s Knee (patellofemoral pain syndrome): pain around the kneecap.
  • Achilles Tendinitis: pain and inflammation of the Achilles tendon.
  • IT Band Syndrome: irritation of the iliotibial band running down the outside of the thigh.
  • Stress fracture: a small crack in a bone of the shin or foot.
  • Achilles tendinopathy (formerly called tendonitis): chronic degenerative changes to the large tendon that attaches the calf to the back of the heel.

Often these runners’ injuries are the result of repetitive stress and/or overuse. They frequently occur when a runner increases their routine too quickly, not permitting the body to adjust.

5 Exercises To Help Prevent Running Injuries

Below are five exercises to help strengthen your body and reduce the risk of running injuries. 

1. Calf Raises

Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
Lift your heels off the ground, then slowly lower them.

Benefits — Calf raises strengthen your calf muscles and Achilles tendon, reducing the risk of Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis.

2. Quad Strengthening

While sitting, straighten one leg and hold it up for a few seconds, then lower it slowly. 
Repeat on each side.

Benefits —  This exercise not only strengthens the quadriceps but supports the knee, reducing the risk of runner’s knee.

3. Hip Abduction

Lie on your side, and keep your bottom leg bent. Raise your top leg straight while keeping it straight.
Repeat on both sides.

Benefits — Hip abductions strengthen your outer thigh and hip muscles, helping to prevent IT band syndrome.

4. Hamstring Curls

Stand holding onto a chair, bend one knee, and bring your heel toward your buttocks, then lower slowly. Repeat on both legs.

Benefits — Hamstring curls strengthens hamstrings, offering better support and reducing strain on the knee and lower leg.

5. Toe Yoga

Here are several toe yoga exercises:

  • While seated, spread your toes and hold, then release. 
  • Do the same thing, while arching each foot.
  • Then do the same thing while lifting and dropping each heel. 
  • Scrunch toes (as around a cloth); hold, then release.
  • Try to lift each toe individually on each foot.

Benefits Improves foot strength and flexibility, aiding in the prevention of plantar fasciitis.

How Our Skilled Doctors Can Help If Your Running Injury Has Already Occurred

Despite best efforts, injuries can occur. At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, we use both traditional and complementary nonsurgical treatments to address and heal running injuries. Our approach includes:

  • Customized physical therapy with electrical stimulation
  • Acupuncture
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy

Contact Our Experienced Physiatrists Today

The doctors at Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine are committed to providing the highest standard of care. Whether you’re looking to prevent running injuries or need assistance in healing, we are here to support your journey toward optimal health and performance. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you stay on track to meet your running goals while fully enjoying the process.