Why Does It Hurt When I Run And How To Overcome It?

Why Does It Hurt When I Run And How To Overcome it?
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Perhaps you’re an avid runner who likes to run long miles every day or practice sprints along the track. All is well, until one day, you begin to feel a bit sorer than usual, even a slight pain in your ankles or joints. You might be concerned about it and wonder what you should do to alleviate it.

Whether it’s just a pulled muscle or a more serious chronic injury, figuring out what is hurting you is the first step to healing. In this post, we’ll give you some reasons why you might hurt when you run, as well as how to overcome it. Soon enough, you can get back to run without the pain.

Why does my body hurt when I run?

Although running is a great sport to get you into good shape, it also is one of the most-impacted sports in terms of what it does to your body; all of that pounding on the pavement and the repeated overuse of certain muscles certainly doesn’t help the cause. Here are some common injuries:

1. Plantar fasciitis. If you tend to experience pain in the arch of the foot, then you most likely have plantar fasciitis. This particular injury is caused by unsupported arches in footwear, which can cause the plantar fascia to tear, thus leading to discomfort when running.

2. Shin splints. Feeling a tight, squeezing pain along the front of your shins? Unfortunately, you probably have shin splints. It occurs when the muscles and tendons around the shins become inflamed, often due to extra pressure while running on hard surfaces or hills.

3. Runner’s knee. Also known as “patellofemoral pain syndrome,” the runner’s knee is one of the most common injuries for runners, and it’s a difficult one to treat. This type of pain is caused by a combination of factors, including constant pounding and weak hips, which adds pressure to the kneecap, causing it to be inflamed or tear tendons.

4. Achilles tendonitis. Experiencing pain in your Achilles heel? You might have Achilles tendonitis, which is the swelling of the heel area due to tight leg muscles and having low arches. Having this injury certainly isn’t pleasant to run on!

5. Ankle sprain. You might be running outside when, all of a sudden, you step off the curb just a bit off and end up rolling your ankle, thereby spraining it. Ankle sprains happen within a matter of seconds, and unfortunately, they can put you out of running for a few weeks.

Besides feeling pain from more long-term injuries as discussed above, there are also other types of running-induced discomfort that aren’t necessarily chronic, but rather temporary. Here are just a few of them:

1. Blisters. You’ve seen them before: those unpleasant, water-filled bubbles that form on your feet after trying to break in a pair of new shoes. Blisters occur when the bottom of the foot rubs against the shoe, thereby leading to the top skin layer tearing and forming bubbles between the layers. They certainly don’t feel great when you run, as it leads to discomfort and the increased chance of developing more.

2. Chaffing. This (literally) irritating occurrence takes place in parts of the body where skin rubs against skin, most commonly between the thighs. When this happens, the skin becomes raw and you might feel a stinging sensation each time the skin rubs together with each stride.

3. Side stitches. Do you sometimes feel like your sides are on fire? Side stitches are those annoying cramps that you get while running, and they definitely don’t help make you feel at ease when doing so.

How do I overcome it?

1. Get some rest. Even if you’re reluctant to admit it, taking time off from running is much more important to speeding up your recovery than it is to continue running on an injury. Whether it’s a few days or a few months, taking a break from it all will do good for your body to heal.

2. Ice, ice, ice. Icing your body’s injury is a good temporary fix for the pain, as it numbs the area and helps alleviate it for a bit. This works the best for shin splints or an ankle sprain, and the most common strategy is to follow the RICE rule (rest, ice, compress, elevate).

3. Stretch your muscles. To prevent tight or pulled muscles, stretching them out before and after a workout will make a huge difference. Even more so, it can help enhance your running performance, for your body’s looser and more flexible to handling any type of terrain out there.

From touching your toes to rolling out your IT band, making your muscles relaxed is the way to go.

4. Do strengthening exercises. Some injuries, such as runner’s knee or side stitches, occur because of weak, underused muscles. Hence, it helps to strengthen them by adding in core and weight sessions to your workout. Work on enhancing hamstring and hip muscles, as well as train those abdominal muscles to make you an all-around fit individual.

5. Get new shoes. If you’ve been using your running shoes for a long time, then it’s time to consider getting new ones. Usually, you should replace them after every 500 to 600 miles, for heel and arch support start to wear off by then, thus increasing your chances of injury. For some running shoes to consider buying, check out an article that we wrote about here to learn more.

6. Improve your form. Sometimes, our particular way of running can impact how we put pressure on certain areas of the body. Try to counteract that by recalibrating your form, whether it’s straightening your posture or aiming for that neutral heel-to-ball-of-foot stride.


At the end of the day, your body takes a lot of beating and pressure from running. Therefore, it’s important to take care of it, especially when it gets injured. Taking measures to identify, acknowledge, and treat the pain is essential to staying in good health, and doing so can help you become a better runner in the future.

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