If you’re new to running, you’re unfortunately also new to a whole world of aches and pains that come mostly from adding too much mileage too soon. But starting—or returning to—a running routine doesn’t need to cause you trouble. After all, there are a few basics for avoiding injury—and some don’t even have anything to do with how you hit the pavement. So as for your specific aches, we’ve solved ’em. Here are five common injuries, plus how to avoid and relieve them once they strike.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome, better known as “Runner’s Knee,” is a catchall for soreness that strikes around the kneecap. Irritation of the tendons, cartilage, fat pad beneath the patella, or other tissues could be the culprit thanks to any number of maladies like overuse, muscle imbalance, foot problems, a misaligned kneecap, or something else.
Avoid it: Strengthen your quadriceps and glutes, says Mike Silverman, a physical therapist at Hospital for Special Surgery’s Sports Rehabilitation and Performance Center in New York City. This will help move the load from your knees to your legs. Use a foam roller to keep your IT band loose and mobile, and keep your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves limber with dynamic stretches.