You may notice running aches in your joints and muscles after your runs and wonder if this is normal. It is normal to be sore. In fact, when you work out you create microscopic tears and when the muscles rebuild, soreness is necessary. But you may be searching for ways to differentiate between what is normal and what can lead to an injury, because you should not always push through soreness. The key is knowing when to push and when to not. With running you need to pay attention to your body cues and you should know the possible reasons for running aches like these:
1. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Have you ever performed a new workout and for days you found yourself extremely sore? This is delayed onset muscle soreness and this is a sign that you pushed harder in a workout that was high intensity. You can take a day off or go for a massage, but the professionals recommend that you run lightly and work though this, because it's one of the most minor running aches. Within a few days, your legs will feel fresh again.
2. Plantar Fasciitis
This condition, which involves heel pain, is seen most often in runners. It keeps many of them sidelined. The cause is undue stress on the connective tissue running along the heel. How do you lower the pain of this condition? Visit a podiatrist and get fitted for orthotics, wear proper running sneakers and do not increase your running miles too quickly.
3. Shin Splints
Once looked at as a minor distraction, shin splints are now looked at more seriously because they are very painful. Shin splints occur when there is extreme pain along the shins or the side of the shins, usually due to running. The best way to avoid this is to run on softer surfaces like a track, and if you still feel pain, ice your shins to lower the inflammation. You should also stretch out your calves and shins before and after your running workouts.
At some point or another, every runner seems to get a blister. It is annoying in a short 3 mile race but can feel debilitating in a longer race like a marathon. The good news is that this irritation is just painful. Once you cover your blister with a band aid or moleskin, you can continue your run and not be forced to wait on the side. To avoid a blister, make sure you have well fitted shoes and also breathable socks that wick away moisture.
5. Stress Fracture
Stress fractures are serious and painful, and usually you will know something is wrong when you have one. A stress fracture is a chip in the bone. If left untreated, it can cause a complete break in the bone. I had one injury in my life and it was a stress fracture. The pain was so severe it was tough to bear pressure on my leg. My stress fracture was in my tibia, which is the most frequent place to have a stress fracture. Six weeks of healing and rest later, I felt like brand new. If you feel severe pain in any part of your body, take a break and visit a physician for a check up.
There are small fluid sacs in your body called bursae that help prevent the rubbing of your joints and keep your joints lubricated. Repetitive movements can put a lot of pressure on the bursae and cause inflammation, swelling and even red joints. To heal, you must rest, take anti-inflammatory medications and ice.
7. Muscle Cramps
In the middle of your run, you feel extreme pain that is debilitating. After your extreme cramping ends, you feel normal again. Some physicians believe this is from not properly hydrating but most often this is from muscle fatigue, so maybe it is time for a rest day. And play it safe by drinking some more water.
Now that you know the different running aches, just make sure you heed caution the next time you feel pain and know the difference between a regular ache and an injury. Do you feel aches the day after your runs?