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Pay Attention to Pain

Subscribe to Briefing Runners don't take injuries lying down. Here, John Xerogeanes, M.D., chief of sports medicine at Emory University Orthopedics in Atlanta, gives recommendations on how to fight four common injuries.

1) Illiotibial Band Syndrome
Where it hurts: Pain and swelling at the outside of the knee.
Treatment: Fewer miles, or no running at all (cross-training instead), stretching, ice, anti-inflammatory drugs.

2) Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Where it hurts: Tenderness behind or around the kneecap, toward its center. Often worsened by squatting or descending stairs.
Treatment: Cut mileage; avoid knee-bending activities; stretch and strengthen the muscles around the kneecap.

3) Shin Splints
Where it hurts: A general pain along the shin.
Treatment: Rest, rest, rest. Cross-train instead of running, then resume running gradually for short distances and cross-train between runs. Also ice and stretch.

4) Plantar Fasciitis
Where it hurts: A sharp pain in the arch or on the heel, usually worst in the morning.
Treatment: Stretch the calf muscle, massage the bottom of the foot using a golf ball, ice after running, take anti-inflammatories, wear inserts, orthotics, or night splints.

Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Taking care of these symptoms early can help to avoid a long running layoff.

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