The top five most common injuries among triathletes can be prevented and remedied by a few simple methods.
1) Shin splints
- Can be identified as pain along the shinbone, irritated and swollen muscles.
- Can be caused by overuse, stress fracture, over-pronation or flat feet or weakness in stabilizing muscles of the hips and core.
- Symptoms: tenderness, soreness, mild swelling or pain along the inner part of your lower leg, continuous pain during running or exercising.
2) Patellofemoral pain syndrome
- Can be caused by overuse, wearing down or softening of the cartilage in the kneecap ,a kneecap that is not properly aligned, improper technique during exercise or change in footwear and playing surface.
- Symptoms: dull aching pain in the front of the knee, especially when you are sitting with bent knees, squatting, jumping or using the stairs.
3) Plantar fasciitis
- Caused by straining the ligament that supports the arch of your foot, which if strained repeatedly it can cause tiny tears in the ligament. It’s more common for people with high arches or flat feet or if you walk, stand or run for long periods of time especially on hard surfaces.
- Symptoms: swelling in the foot, stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel and pain in the foot as you take your first steps in the morning.
- Can be caused by repetitive stress to the tendon tight calf muscles, increase in the amount or intensity of exercise overuse and degeneration
- Symptoms: pain and stiffness along the achilles tendon that increases with activity, severe pain the day after exercising and thickening and swelling of the tendon.
5) Illiotibial band syndrome
- An overuse injury of the tissues located on the outer part of the thigh and knee.
- Can be caused by poor training habits, poor flexibility of muscle and other mechanical imbalances in the body, especially in the low back, pelvis, hips and knees
- Symptoms include pain on the outer side of the knee and tenderness in the areas above the knee joint.
- Rest: It’s often better to stop if you have pain rather than push through and potentially do more damage and have to extend recovery time.
- Ice: most injuries cause inflammation and swelling, so the best way to help reduce the pain would be to ice immediately after exercising or as soon as you feel pain.
- Stretching: a necessity for anyone looking to be at the top of their game, stretching is essential for injury prevention and recovery.
- Anti-inflammatory medication: If you’re experiencing pain and are trying to recover from an injury, anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen will help decrease the swelling and pain quickly.
- Physical therapy: If your injury is not getting better, see a professional to help with more intense treatments and methods that help speed up the recovery.