Running Injuries

Alex Clarke Ashgrove Physiotherapist

Article by Alex Clarke

running injuries

Running

We know that running gives you both pain and joy. Running gets you fit and keeps the weight down, it clears your mind, it works your body. We also know how much an injury can slow you down, both physically and mentally.

Looking back through history, we evolved to be able to run, and to be able to run long distances. The human body is a mechanical masterpiece in many of the ways in which it can store and reuse energy. For instance, your Achilles tendon can store up to 30% of the energy your calf muscle generates, and like an elastic band, ‘snap’ back to help lift your heel off the ground as we run. These changes let our bodies run efficiently for long periods.

Why Do Runners Get Injured So Easily?

Just because we are made to run doesn’t make us great runners. For a number of reasons, many runners develop injuries each year. 

At any one time approximately 25% of runners will have an injury. Most of the time it comes down to a change in workload. Given enough time, our bodies are very good at adapting to increased workload. 

If we gradually increase the distances that we run, the muscle, tendon, and bone cells can respond to this increased workload and increase their ‘strength’ and endurance. If, however, we increase this workload too quickly, these structures start to break down. 

Changes in workload can be due to a change in:

  • Distance / time / intensity of training 
  • Terrain, eg more hills, harder ground
  • Footwear
  • Running technique

Running injuries are common and often affect the hips, knees, ankles, and feet of runners. The impact and stress of running is sometimes hard on the muscles and joints; especially if you ignore early injury signs.

  • What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
  • Barefoot Running: Your MUST READ Guide to the Pro's and Con's.
  • How Can Physiotherapy Help Runners?

    Your physio will look at a number of areas to determine what may have led to your injury, including:

    • your running biomechanics - using video analysis we can slow down and look at the various components of your running technique
    • footwear advice suitable to your foot
    • training load - what is good, too much, too little
    • joint range, muscle length and overall flexibility
    • muscle strength: core control, foot arch control, hip, knee and lower limb control.

    Once your physio has identified the factors that have led to your running injury, they will look to work with you to get you back into running as soon as possible. Your running injury may require a short period of rest in order to allow some healing to occur, during which time cross-training may be a good option to maintain your fitness.  Your physiotherapist who has a special interest in running injuries is the best person to advise you.

    How to Avoid Running Injuries

    The best way to avoid running injuries is to prevent them. These tips can help both novice and elite runners prevent running injuries:

    • Perform an individually customised Warm Up & Cool Down routine specific to your body's needs.
    • Wear footwear suitable for your foot structure
    • Plan your training to avoid overtraining
    • Increase your training by no more than 10% per week

    If you do develop an ache or pain, it is likely to be a running injury. If you are not sure how to best manage your running injury, please consult your physiotherapist for their professional assistance. 

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    Most Common Running Injuries in Detail

    Running is one of the easiest and most popular ways to stay fit. It is also one of the easiest ways to develop an injury. Running injuries are common and often affect the hips, knees, ankles, and feet of runners. The impact and stress of running is sometimes hard on the muscles and joints; especially if you ignore early injury signs.

    Running is one of the easiest and most popular ways to stay fit. It is also one of the easiest ways to develop an injury. Running injuries are common and often affect the hips, knees, ankles, and feet of runners. The impact and stress of running is sometimes hard on the muscles and joints; especially if you ignore early injury signs.

    Knee Pain

    Ankle Injuries

    Foot & Heel Pain

    Groin Pain

    Hip Pain

    Back Pain

    Muscle Pain

    Neck Pain

    Common Treatments for Running Injuries

    The Gap Football Club Physio

    Treatment for your running injury may include:

    • massage and/or dry needling to help improve muscle length and reduce pain
    • a stretching programme for muscle length
    • joint mobilisation for stiff joints
    • strapping to offload the injury and improve biomechanics
    • specific exercises to help strengthen weakened muscles at the foot, knee, hip and trunk, and core
    • working with a podiatrist for orthotic prescription if required, and 
    • working with your running coach to discuss your training regime.

    Running Injury Treatment Options

  • Early Injury Treatment
  • Avoid the HARM Factors
  • Soft Tissue Injury? What are the Healing Phases?
  • What to do after a Muscle Strain or Ligament Sprain?
  • Acupuncture and Dry Needling
  • Sub-Acute Soft Tissue Injury Treatment
  • Core Exercises
  • Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises
  • Active Foot Posture Correction Exercises
  • Gait Analysis
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Balance Enhancement Exercises
  • Proprioception & Balance Exercises
  • Agility & Sport-Specific Exercises
  • Medications?
  • Heel Cups
  • Orthotics
  • Real Time Ultrasound Physiotherapy
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Walking Boot
  • Ankle Strapping
  • Brace or Support
  • Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
  • Foam Roller
  • Heat Packs
  • Joint Mobilisation Techniques
  • Kinesiology Tape
  • Knee Arthroscopy
  • Neurodynamics
  • Prehabilitation
  • Running Analysis
  • Strength Exercises
  • Stretching Exercises
  • Supportive Taping & Strapping
  • TENS Machine
  • Video Analysis
  • Yoga
  • FAQs Running Injuries

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  • What is Pain?
  • Physiotherapy & Exercise
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  • The Best Core Exercises
  • Heat Packs. Why does heat feel so good?
  • How Does an Exercise Ball Help Back Pain?
  • How to Strap an Ankle
  • Post-Run Soreness: Should You Be Concerned?
  • Runners: How to Reduce Your Knee Stress
  • Running Recovery: 6 Helpful Tips
  • Sports Injury? What to do? When?
  • What are Common Adolescent / Children Leg Injuries?
  • What are Growing Pains?
  • What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
  • What is a TENS Machine?
  • What is Chronic Pain?
  • What is Nerve Pain?
  • What is Sports Physiotherapy?
  • What's the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
  • What's Your Core Stability Score?
  • When is the Best Time for a Pre-Event Massage?
  • Call PhysioWorks

    Book Online

    Helpful Products for Running Injuries

    Running Injuries

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    Last updated 31-May-2017 02:25 PM

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