Running isn't a sport that's chock full of continuous injuries.  It's really not.  So what's the deal with all of the talk and all of the articles in running magazines and on running websites concerning injuries?  It's true - a lot of chatter seems to center around runners and their aches and pains.  But here's the deal with running and the injuries associated with this sport . . . 1.)  Running is a high impact sport.  Our muscles and joints and tissue and bones all need to adjust to this high impact at all stages of running.  2.)  The stubborn (also known as "all of us") or even illinformed runner constantly tests this high impact adjustment :)

All sports have the risk of injury.  It's because your body is moving.  But running, contrary to popular myth, really isn't the sport that boasts the most injuries.  And for the big picture of long term running injuries, don't believe these fallacies:

1.)  Running causes arthritis.  Nope.  Not true.,7120,s6-241-285--9247-0,00.html

2.)  Running will eventually result in knee replacements.  Uh uh.  Nope.  Again, not true.

3.)  Running will casue your uterus to fall out. 
Ha ha!  My mom actually jokes around and tells me this (or is she joking?!)  But, believe it or not, this was actually a scare tactic in the 1970's when women begin participating in this sport and entering races.  For the record, women runners are less likely to have uterine prolapse due to their stronger core and pelvic muscles supporting your uterus. 

Okay.  Gross.  Enough of that.  How about the injuries that are somewhat common with this sport? 

First off, your best approach to running injuries is prevention.  And this injury prevention thing ties in directly with

1.) proper running form (nice posture, short strides, relaxed upper body, strong core and light feet),
2.) conservative increases with speed and/or distance,
3.) proper running shoes (and bras),
4.) resting (no exercise) 1 - 2 days each week,
5.) stretching AFTER exercise to keep those muscles flexible,
6.) incorporating strength training with higher mileage, and
4.) listening closely to that body of yours.

So run smart.  And run conservatively.  Your body kind of has an "eye for an eye" mentality, so if you run like a crazy person, then chances are it will pay you back accordingly :) 
But sometimes injuries just creep up on us runners.  You may be doing everything right, but you might have a previous injury from years ago or you might have a physical or structural imbalance or you may even be too tired to think and a little pain just snuck up on you.

Upon purchasing a new pair of shoes a few years ago (but I'm not still running on those shoes!), the brochure that I've scanned in and pasted below was in the shoe box.  It's a great overview of the top 8 nagging running injuries and how to diagnose and treat these pains to get us back on the trails again. 

Bottom line, if you feel hurt, you are hurt.  And if you run more, you are going to hurt more.  Running through pain does not erase pain.  And please believe me when I tell you this - you do not "have" to run.  Do not let your mind talk your hurt body (even slightly hurt body) into thinking that it has to burn that 300 calories to stay alive today.  It doesn't . . . and you won't gain 10 pounds for smartly skipping a run and your training schedule will not combust because you skipped a run (or two or three or five or ten) to treat an injury.  There will always be time to run, so don't push a body that is telling you (screaming, more like) that it desperately needs rest to heal.  Give it what it wants and let the healing begin!  Most running injuries just require a little TLC and an ice pack to reduce swelling and pain. 

Call or email me if you need a running coach's advice on assessing an injury and I'll try to point you in the right direction.  But in the meantime, run smart and run happy and your body will treat you the same!