Running Injuries

Running Injuries

Article by J. Miller, A.Clarke

Running Injuries

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 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 you 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 many 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 workloads.

If we gradually increase the distances 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, e.g. 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 are sometimes hard on the muscles and joints, especially if you ignore early injury signs.

How Can Physiotherapy Help Runners?

Your physio will look at several 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 controlfoot 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 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 professional assistance.

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 are 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 are sometimes hard on the muscles and joints, especially if you ignore early injury signs.

Common Running Injuries

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For professional guidance on best rehabilitating your running injury, please consult one of our running physiotherapists.

Common Treatments for Running Injuries

Treatment for your running injury may include:

  • massage 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 an orthotic prescription if required, and
  • working with your running coach to discuss your training regime.

Please consult your running with a physiotherapist who has a particular interest in running injury management.

Common Running Injuries

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 are sometimes hard on the muscles and joints; especially if you ignore early injury signs.

runners-knee

Knee Pain

Children’s Knee Conditions

Shin Pain

Calf Pain

Foot Injuries

Muscle Injuries

Heel Injuries

posterior shin splints

Achilles and Foot Tendinopathies

Hip Joint Pain

Lateral Hip Pain

Adductor-related Groin Pain

Arthritis

Biomechanical Conditions

Thigh & Hamstring Pain

Bone Injuries

General Information

Muscle-related Injuries

Disc-related Injuries

Back Joint Injuries

Nerve-related Injuries

Pelvis-related Injuries

For more advice regarding your running assessment, please contact PhysioWorks.

Related Treatments

Acute Treatment

Performance & Prevention Strategies

Biomechanical Approach