Ready to Up Your Mileage? Avoid These Common Runner's Injuries

Mar 02, 2024
Ready to Up Your Mileage? Avoid These Common Runner's Injuries
Running is good for your health, both physically and emotionally. But it’s also an activity with lots of injuries. These steps can help prevent injuries so you can continue to enjoy your sport without prolonged interruptions.

If you run regularly, there’s a 50-50 chance you’ll get injured during your sport. Research shows about a third of those injuries involve the feet and ankles.

At Forward Foot & Ankle, our team works closely with athletes of all levels, helping protect your feet and ankles so you can continue to enjoy your sport. Here, learn about some common running injuries and what you can do to prevent them.

Runner’s injuries and how they happen

The repetitive impact on your feet and ankles puts a lot of strain on your joints, bones, and connective tissues, leading to a range of injuries like these four common problems.

Stress fractures

Stress fractures are overuse injuries frequently associated with sports like running that involve repetitive impacts to your feet and legs. When muscles are overstrained, some strain is transferred to your bones, resulting in tiny cracks or stress fractures.

Achilles tendonitis

The Achilles tendon is the largest in your body, stretching from your calf muscle to your heel bone. Tendonitis happens when the tendon is inflamed, often due to overexertion, poor training, or inadequate warm-up before running. 

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the tough band of tissue that runs across the sole of your foot (the plantar fascia) is irritated and inflamed. Poor gait mechanics, repetitive strain, failure to warm up, and poor choice of footwear can all cause or contribute to this painful condition.


Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect one bone to another. A sprain happens when a ligament is stretched too far, creating tiny tears and injuries in the fibers. Severe strains can tear the ligament in two or from its bony attachment, sometimes taking a piece of bone with it.

Preventing injuries

While 100% prevention may not be possible, you can do some simple things to substantially reduce your risk of injury.

Buy the right shoes

Running shoes provide your first line of defense against the impacts of running. Not only do the right shoes help absorb some of the shock that comes with every step, but they also provide plenty of support for your ankles, toes, and arches. Don’t forget to replace shoes at the first signs of wear.


Warming up with gentle stretches is essential before any exercise, and it’s especially important for runners. Warming up increases circulation to your feet and ankles, making your muscles and other tissues more flexible so they respond better to the repetitive impacts of running.

Increase activity gradually

Sure, it’s important to challenge yourself, but if you increase your speed, running distance, or frequency of activity too quickly, you can significantly increase your risk of injury. Instead, ramp up activity slowly, allowing your body to adapt.

Cross train

Cross-training incorporates activities other than running to strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support your feet and ankles. Look for low-impact activities, like swimming or cycling, to improve endurance without increasing the strain on your feet.

Make time for rest

Running takes a toll on your feet and legs. Resting between runs gives your muscles and other tissues time to recover, helping prevent injuries associated with overuse. Regular foot soaks and elevating your feet help prevent pain and reduce inflammation.

Seek treatment early

Foot and ankle problems respond best to early treatment; even a small delay can cause far more serious problems. If you have pain, weakness, numbness, or other unusual symptoms, schedule an evaluation immediately with our team.

Stay on track

For dedicated runners, downtime doesn’t just interfere with a fitness plan or exercise routine — it takes an emotional toll, too. Taking a few simple steps can help prevent injuries so you can stick to your routine and enjoy all its benefits.

To learn how we can help you keep your feet and ankles healthy and strong, request an appointment online or over the phone with the Forward Foot & Ankle team in Midtown Manhattan and Staten Island, New York, today.