Generally speaking, running isn’t a contact sport and normally doesn’t top the list of dangerous sporting activities. And yet, running injuries and accidents do happen. Besides muscle cramps and scrapes, there are a number of risks which can take a person out of the game.
While running injuries are not uncommon, most are preventable with proper care and planning, and many are easily treatable with a little first aid know how. Read on to learn first aid for running injuries.
Common Running Injuries
According to Sports Medicine Australia, about 70% of recreational and competitive runners will experience injuries every year. Roughly half of these incidents are damage to the knee, followed by foot and ankle injuries, lower leg injuries, and damage to the hip or pelvis area.
Runners are also likely to suffer from back and groin injuries.
Following simple guidelines, including proper warmups and wearing the right clothes, can prevent these injuries. Avoid pushing too hard and stay within the recommended limit.
Here are common running injuries to watch out for:
Blisters – The sliding and rubbing of the foot inside the shoe when running can cause the skin to be irritated and form blisters.
Shin Pain – Putting too much strain on the leg muscles, tendons, or shin bone from running can result in pain.
Soft Tissue Injuries – This includes damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments and other connective tissues (fascia).
Skin injuries – Falling or tripping over while running can result in cuts and abrasions in the skin. Sunburn and bruises also fall into the category of skin injuries.
Here are some factors to look out for that increases the risk of injury while running.
- Overtraining or running beyond an individual’s fitness level can result in strain on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
- Incorrect or poor running techniques can cause injuries such as small tears in the muscle fibres.
- Wearing incorrect clothing can contribute to heat stress, overheating, or cold injuries.
- Running on hard surfaces can lead to shin pain or even stress fractures.
- Other environmental factors such as air pollution, loose, unstable surfaces, and obstacles such as low-hanging tree branches or rocks on the track can also result in injuries.
6 First Aid Tips For Runners
Below are a few first aid tips to keep safe and avoid complications when running.
Clean Cuts And Scrapes Right Away
A wrong step can lead to falls and open cuts. It is best to tend the wound right away to stop the bleeding. Clean the area using water and cover it to prevent infection.
Prepare A Medical Kit
A well-stocked first-aid kit is essential when treating minor injuries when running. Buy a ready-made kit, or create your own by collecting the necessary items.
Let Others Know The Plan
Running solo is a great way to release stress and be healthy, but share specific plans with others for precaution – whether it’s with a family member or a friend. Let them know your expected arrival time and general running location.
Do Not Pop The Blister
If you’re suffering from blisters, it may be tempting to pop one. But leaving these fluid-filled sacs alone is best, as breaking one will increase the risk of infection.
It is common for runners, especially the newbies, to lose track of their water intake, leading to dehydration. Other factors can lead to this condition, such as heat and change in humidity.
Dehydration symptoms include light-headedness, confusion, and loss of consciousness. At this point, it is best to stop running, rehydrate, and take a rest.
Know When To Call An Ambulance
Experiencing chest pain, difficulty breathing, and losing consciousness require immediate medical attention. Stop running and call triple Zero for further assistance.
Learn First Aid
Long-distance running and other factors can heighten the risk of a heart attack. Therefore, it is good to learn how to respond to such emergencies.
Learn first aid today.