On Sunday thousands will descend on the streets of Sheffield for the Great Yorkshire Run, an event in its infancy having been only established in 2007 but with a faithful following of almost 10,000 people. The 10K event will work its way through the city and is complimented by the Bupa Junior and Mini Great Yorkshire Run.

The first event was won by Kenyan Kibowen in 28 minutes 40 seconds, a record which stood until being eclipsed by fellow compatriot Eliud Kipchoge in 2009 with a time of 28 minutes 30 seconds.

Aside from the professionals and celebrities taking part, there will be thousands of other runners taking to the streets having spent months preparing for the event. Whilst 10K is small compared to a full marathon it is a huge distance for many an amateur and fun runner and even those who have never done it before.

Common Running Injuries

Runners will have spent months preparing for the event, training a few times a week so that they are ready to take on the challenge of the Great Yorkshire Run 10K. We undertake training so our body can handle the distance and ultimately avoid running injuries, something common among amateurs and professionals alike.

Running injuries can strike at any time, regardless of fitness levels and whilst they can be very painful and frustrating the most important thing is resting and getting yourself back to full fitness as quick as possible. Most running injuries are as a result of overuse, where you are pushing yourself too far and your body is not ready for it, though runners are susceptible to joint injuries from either slipping or tripping.

A few of the more common forms of running injuries have been documented below.

Shin Splints

Shin splints are a pain located at the front of the legs and can occur during and following strenuous exercise. Running is one of the main forms of exercise resulting in shin splints, due to the high impact nature on the joints and the sudden starting and stopping involved. Racket sports including tennis, squash and even basketball are all sports where shin splints can happen.

The initial pain from shin splints is felt along the tibia with a dull ache, a pain which can intensify as a patient continues to remain active. The most important thing to do if you feel the onset of an injury is to stop and rest as continuing to be active can cause more damage and increase your recovery time further.

Sufferers of shin splints report inflammation of the affected area in conjunction with pain. Providing a patient ceases exercise once they feel pain then the condition should rectify itself following rest. You can also opt for reduced impact forms of exercise such as cycling or swimming during your recovery, so that you are still able to remain active.

Ankle Injuries

An ankle injury can vary in severity and the length of recovery time involved. A simple sprain can take a few days to heal following rest, whilst ligament damage or broken bones can take considerably longer before a patient is able to get back onto the road.

The majority of ankle injuries occur as a result of the joint moving in an unnatural way, which is what happens when you have a sprain affecting the ligaments. The more severe the sprain the more damage caused to the ligaments, which could lead to surgery to have rectified.

Knee Injuries

Running impacts heavily on the joints, especially when running on tarmac as the hard surface can lead to problems in the future for your joints, knee included. Continual wear and tear on the knee joint can lead to conditions such as osteoarthritis of the knee, which involves the gradual breakdown of cartilage in the joint causing knee pain.

As with ankle injuries runners are susceptible to trips, slips and falls when out on the road, all of which can cause damage to the knee. A slight sprain will result in the joint becoming inflamed but it is largely self-limiting and a patient should recover within a few days.

A serious twisted knee can actual cause damage to the ligaments and as with ankle ligament damage, can require surgery to remedy along with an extended period of time on the sidelines. If you are ever in doubt as to the seriousness of an injury you should speak with a clinician for a professional diagnosis.

Final Words on running injuries

Whilst running injuries are sometimes unavoidable there are ways in which you can minimise the risk. Warming up before running and cooling down afterwards ensure your muscles adjust accordingly and are ready for action. Failure to cool down can result in a build-up of lactic acid which can cause stiffness in the muscle.

The most important thing to remember when considering running injuries is to know your limits and not to push yourself too much as overuse can lead to injury , with conditions such as shin splints caused as a result of overuse.

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