Common Running Injuries
The majority of running injuries tend to be due to overuse and generally involve the lower limb, so this overview will focus on the most common of these injuries. Running is certainly experiencing another “boom” currently, with the popularity of running increasing again so we might anticipate a relatice increase in related injuries. The most commonly occurring lower limb running injuries are
- Knee injuries (patella tendinopathy, patellofemoral pain syndrome, ITB-related conditions)
- Shin injuries (medial/lateral tibial stress syndrome – ie “shin splints”)
- Foot/toe injuries (plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia)
- Thigh and calf injuries (achilles tendinopathy, hamstring tendinopathy)
- Stress fractures (common sites include distal tibia, femur, calcaneus and navicular bones)
Knee injuries are the most common. Ankle and hip overuse injuries amongst runners are less common.
Risk factors for developing overuse injuries are characterized into training errors (eg. high weekly mileage, running too many hills, running on a camber), footwear errors (eg. poorly fitting shoes, not appropriate shoes for foot type), general health factors (eg. age, poor absorption of calcium, female triad).
There is weak evidence linking some of these factors to an increased risk of overuse injury, however there is strong evidence linking two main risk factors for increased risk of injury:
- Greater training distance per week (for males only, no strong link for females)
- A history of previous injuries (for both males and females)
A physiotherapy approach to assessing and treating these injuries involves taking a comprehensive history of training patterns and loads, footwear analysis, obtaining previous injury history, as well as current symptomatology and physical examination (often including running gait analysis on a treadmill to help establish technique/biomechanical errors).
Treatment for these conditions varies depending on the chronicity of the presentation, with treatment initially combining relative (or complete) rest from running and symptomatic relief (eg. massage, ice, taping to offload painful structures).
A graduated program of stretching, and in particular strengthening, is becoming acknowledged as the most effective treatment approach to overcome the majority of tendinopathies.
Addressing biomechanical errors, footwear issues, and progressing through a graduated return to running program are all essential parts of ensuring a complete recovery and minimizing the risk of future injury recurrences.
The team at Physio Professionals have lots of experience with these injuries- being runners ourselves we have unfortunately experienced a lot of these conditions first-hand, as well as of course treating thousands of runners over the years. On our team we also have both Level 2 and Level 3 Running Coaches, and four of our treatment team are dedicated runners who have completed events from National Track events from sprints 100m to 1500m and 3km steeplechase, to marathons and ironman triathlon events. We feel this passion and first-hand knowledge of running and the training involved aids our assessment and understanding of these injuries and gives us confidence in guiding runners back to running to help them achieve their goals.
Physio Professionals offer Running Gait Analysis Assessment at our Caloundra Clinic
- Expert assessment of your running technique by experienced physiotherapists.
- Treadmill analysis to examine your running technique in detail at various running speeds.
- Video recording of your running for instant viewing, analysis and on-the-spot feedback.
- Correlation with other factors such as footwear, orthotic use, strength and flexibility, to determine potential for improved performance and efficiency, as well as identify areas at risk of (or already causing) injury.
Initial Running Assessment (1 hour) $196;
30 minute subsequent consultation from $96 (health fund rebates apply).