Marathon season full of injury risk: How to stay safe - KMOV.com

Marathon season full of injury risk: How to stay safe

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By Alexander Schuster By Alexander Schuster

Fall marathon season is in full force, with many runners upping their practice routines with major events like the New York City Marathon less than a month away.

One local physical therapist notes is this time of year when he sees an uptick in injuries from runners gearing up for races.

"We see a lot of foot/ankle injuries, tendinitis, knee pain to runner's knee (patellofemoral pain), hip and back pain," Takumi Fukunaga, who runs a runner's clinic at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told CBS News' Jericka Duncan.

Thirty-four-year-old Nichole Naranjo ran through pain for weeks until she discovered she needed hip surgery for a torn labrum last February.

"I wanted to push myself, but I had to stick to the program," she said. "I had to stick to the phases."

Other common running injuries include muscle pulls, stress fractures, sprained ankles and plantar fasciitis, according to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.

The sports medicine society added there are four time periods when runners are most at risk for injury: during the first four to six months of running, returning after an injury, when distance gets increased and when speed is increased.

Training errors are the most common cause of injury, due to lack of adequate stretching and changes in routine like mileage and running hills.

Injuries occur for a variety of reasons, says Fukunaga, including not easing slowly enough into training, wearing the wrong footwear or skipping recovery.

"I think the most underrated part of running is rest. Rest is probably what gets overlooked a lot of times," he said.

When picking a proper shoe, look for a style that will fit comfortably to your foot anatomy. Throw your shoes out once you hit the 500 to 600-mile mark.

Treatments depends on the injury, but may include rest to allow healing and reduce swelling. After hurting themselves, people should also gradually return to their routine with a slow, 10 percent increase in mileage per week.

If a person experiences severe pain and swelling, loss of motion or other serious problems impacting their stride, they should seek immediate medical treatment.

Naranjo was able to get back from her injury with stretching and by slowly increasing her endurance and mileage. She plans to run in next month's marathon in New York City.

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