Running Tips from Dr. Oster

What are the 3 most common running injuries in The Gunnison Valley?

Running injuries in the valley have a lot to do with the terrain that we run.  In the conversations I have with local runners, most are running trails.  Trail running injuries are much different than flat track or road running injuries.  The 3 most common trail running injuries I see include runner’s nail (black nail), anterior shin splints and metatarsal stress fractures.

Every ultra runner has as a badge of honor a black toe nail.  This condition is due to the foot pistoning in the shoe and slamming against the toe box of the shoe.  The blackened nail is the result of a bruise beneath the nail.  The most significant contributing factor to runner’s nail is a poor fitting shoe and running down hill.

There are two types of shin splints, anterior and posterior.  Anterior shin splint are the result of over-striding and from running down hill.  Running downhill results in excessive pull on the tibialis anterior muscle, the muscle that decelerates the foot at heel contact.  Shin splints are caused by the tibialis anterior muscle being stretched pulling away from the shin.  Although I do see anterior shin splint in road runners, I see it much more frequently in trail runners.

And lastly metatarsal stress fractures are common, particularly in the spring.  New shoes, out of shape and eager to run – that’s a combination that results in a metatarsal stress fracture.  As the weather breaks, use moderation and cross train.  Start in more supportive shoes and transition to minimalistic shoes (Five Finger or the like) after you’ve got a few weeks of training under your belt.

More questions? Don’t hesitate to call and make an appointment to see Dr. Oster: 970-641-8899!

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