How can you prevent common running injuries?

• Knee issues.
It often happens when your kneecap is out of alignment. Over time, the cartilage on your kneecap can wear down and become painful. It’s important to keep the thigh and gluteus muscles strong to support the kneecap and keep it tracking correctly.

• Stress fracture.
This is a small crack in a bone that causes pain and discomfort. I often see stress fractures when starting a new activity or changing the intensity of workouts.

• Shin splint.
This is pain in the front or inside of the lower leg along the shin bone (tibia) that can occur after changing your workout, such as running longer distances or increasing the number of weekdays you run or train. A good stretching/flexibility program and icing can be help. Often runners will wear shin sleeves to help with the pain.

• Achilles tendonitis.
Repetitive stress to the tendon, too much distance to your running routine or tight calf muscles cause this pain. Good flexibility is paramount to prevention and treatment of Achilles tendon pain.

• Muscle pulls.
This is a small tear in your muscle, also called a muscle strain. It's often caused by overstretching, overexertion, or trauma to the muscle.

Plantar fasciitis.
This is an inflammation of the thick band of tissue in the bottom of the foot that extends from the heel to the toes. The pain is worse in the morning and can feel like a heel spur. Having tight Achilles and calf muscles can cause this. Stretching for three minutes, three times a day can help.