Common Triathlon Injuries

Typical Injuries Associated with Triathlons


Runner’s Knee: A very typical ailment that plagues runners and cyclists alike. During healthy operation, the knee cap moves in a smooth fashion across the bone known as the femur.

This motion is typically smooth because the underside of the knee cap is completely covered with cartilage. However, when a person is suffering from runner’s knee, the cartilage has become rough or soft through continuous excess force and causes the knee cap to move painfully and roughly across the femur.

The most common and successful treatment is to employ the R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) and to avoid intense running or cycling over hills. Cyclists could also adjust the seat so that it is higher, and stand often when riding over hills. Incorporating strength training exercises into your fitness routine will go a long way in preventing runner’s knee, but should be eliminated until pain subsides if the knee is already injured.

Achilles Tendonitis: Common causes of this injury include a sudden increase in the amount of exercise in the form of volume, intensity, or too many cycling rides that incorporate steep climbs. Misuse of equipment has been shown to be a primary cause of this condition as well. Discomfort is normally experienced in the calf muscles, and could be more intense at the heel end of the posterior muscle.

As with Runner’s Knee, employing the R.I.C.E. method is helpful, as well as identifying the increase in activity that may have caused the condition and then reducing the work load. Avoid steep inclines during running or cycling until the pain subsides. In contrast to Runner’s Knee, a lowering of the seat by only a few millimeters could assist in preventing this injury. If you have just purchased new shoes and you suspect that they’re the problem, try a heel pad.

Swimmers Shoulder: Most triathlon injuries occur during the running or biking portion, and although swimming is often used for rehabilitation, it can cause some injuries of its own. Particularly in freestyle swimming, the shoulders suffer continuous and repetitive motions that could lead to injury by wearing down the rotator cuff (particularly the microvasculature within it).

Swimmer’s shoulder can be readily treated by using the R.I.C.E. method and reducing the amount of time or distance during training. Simple over-the-counter drugs like aspirin help to reduce inflammation. Adjusting any inconsistencies or errors in stroke or form can also assist with treatment.

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