STAMFORD, Conn. -- For many distance runners, the miles of training that they put in to help prepare and condition for an upcoming race can pose certain injury risks. Dr. Sabrina Strickland, an orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery, answers questions from runners eager to train and still avoid injury.
I have been experiencing pain on my left knee on the side, and I think it might be iliotibial syndrome. I recently competed in a half marathon, but my knees gave up on me half way and I had to walk the rest. I still have trouble bending my knee. What can help heal this?
Unfortunately, the IT band is the bane of some runners’ existences. The good news is that you can win this fight by learning how to stretch your IT bands and using a foam roller.
Any particular advice for someone who doesn’t get shin splints while running but does the day after?
I think it is worth icing after your run and stretching anyway. Remember that sometimes shin splints are really an early stress fracture, so if the pain is worsening then see a doctor.
I seem to have irritated my sciatica/piriformis a week ago. Do you have any recommendations on stretches or cross-training options?
Deep water running is a great way to cross train. If the pain is really sciatica due to pressure of a herniated disk on your sciatic nerve, then running or any impact sport can certainly worsen your condition. I am certain that you will return to running, but it may take a while.
I am experiencing dull pain on the inside of my ankle. Any idea what the source could be?
This could be posterior tibial tendonitis. If you have already tried ice and rest then a consultation with a sports medicine doctor or foot and ankle surgeon would be a good idea. It may be as easy as an injection or orthotic.
I’ve suffered three sprained ankles in the last two years of running consistently. What advice do you have to prevent this?
You need a maintenance program to keep your ankle strong. Single leg calf raises are good to keep your calf strong and work on balance.