Sports Injuries- specifically in runners


Marty Steucek

Henry Anderson ‘23 of the Oakmont football team gets his thumb taped up by Oakmont’s athletic trainer, Gianna Allen.

Marty Steucek, Author

Sports injuries are very painful, and as a result, millions of athletes become sidelined each year. No matter what sport you play, there is always a possibility of getting an injury regardless of how conditioned you are. Injuries caused by straining and muscle overuse may be prevented by doing pre and post stretching. Also, you should always listen to your body when it needs to rest. 

I recently got shin splints; they are one of the most common injuries for a runner. As a result of the pain, I had to take a week off from running and I could only participate in biking and swimming. So far, I have been slowly getting back into running. Sometimes, I still have lingering pain around my shin area. This is common as the injury heals, and you should not worry about the pain; it is just your body’s way of repairing itself. 

“It is a common misconception to apply ice and heat at the same time to a new injury, however, that is not the case and can often cause more inflammation to occur at the site of the injury,” stated Ms. Allen, athletic trainer at Oakmont Regional High School. “Cold, or ice, should be applied to acute injuries, while heat should be applied to chronic injuries. A good rule of thumb is to apply ice 5-7 days after the injury first occurs and then the athlete can begin using heat if inflammation has reduced.”

A few of my teammates on the Oakmont’s Cross Country team, Dylan Banda and Sean Kelly, recently sustained injuries around the calf and ankle. All three of us had to be sidelined for one meet to let our injuries heal. It was tough for us to sit and watch, as it would be for any athlete to have to watch your team compete without you. 

We are guaranteed to run in our next meet with the help of Ms. Allen, whose advice and treatment got us back on our feet. She informed us of useful stretches to lessen the pain of our injuries so we could run again. Some examples included ankle stretches with the theraband and rolling out the calf with the foam roller, which are both good ways to stretch out the muscle.

When asked what the most common injury for runners is, Ms. Allen stated that “common injuries runners suffer are chronic, overuse conditions. For example, tendonitis, or “runners knee” are common trends among runners who suddenly increase their mileage, do not stretch their muscles frequently, or are wearing inappropriate footwear. Medial tibial stress syndrome, or “shin splints” is another common overuse injury runners frequently suffer. This also occurs when athletes do not stretch enough or they have over trained.”

According to, there are two types of injuries: acute injuries which happen suddenly and chronic injuries that develop overtime. Here’s a list of the most common sports injuries: Achilles tendonitis, (which can be caused by not stretching enough after you run, or not wearing the right shoes), shin splints, (they happen when the muscles and tendons around your shin become inflamed), and strains.

“Overuse sports injuries can be prevented through proper warm up and cool downs that are sport specific. Wearing appropriate footwear that supports an athlete’s needs, like arch supports or insoles, adds support when you run and helps to prevent injury. Therapeutic exercises to strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the foot and knee can stabilize a runners joints to reduce their risk of overuse injuries as well’’, said Ms. Allen. 

According to, in order to prevent common injuries, athletes should do three to five workouts per week (or in other words, three to five hours of physical exercise) to produce good results. You should always schedule a rest day between different sessions, in addition to at least one rest day off after two consecutive days of strength training.