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The most common injuries caused by running and how you can prevent them

The most common injuries caused by running and how you can prevent them


The summer months are a great time of the year to get out and run, especially with so many great events taking place such as charity runs and marathons. Whether you are a beginner an expert, training for a marathon or running to improve your fitness levels, it is important that you are taking the proper precautions while running and that you can recognize the signs of an injury occurring.

Not warming up properly, over exertion of certain sets of muscles, and pushing yourself too hard often cause injuries experienced by runners. The following is a list of injuries and the symptoms associated with them:

  • Runner’s knee, also known as patellfemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), is the irritation of the joint between the patella (knee cap) and femur (thigh bone). It can typically flare up after long runs; periods of sitting down and while descending hills or stairs. Poor biomechanics or a change in training can contribute to the development of runner’s knee. Modifying your training programme and completing a strengthening programme can help reduce the pain caused by runner’s knee.
  • Achilles tendinopathy is caused when the Achilles tendon becomes irritated. This is an overuse injury so if you are suffering from Achilles tendinopathy, you may need to reduce your training to reduce the load on the tendon. Your chartered physiotherapist can guide you through a rehabilitation programme to strengthen the calf muscles and help reduce pain.
  • Plantar fascia heel pain is a painful injury that affects the heel or underside of the foot. Runners who have either very high or low arches are vulnerable to this injury. The pain will typically be worse when weight is put on the foot first thing in the morning and when getting up after sitting for long periods. Treatment can include mobilization of the ankle joint, taping, splints and an exercise programme.
  • Shin splints or Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome is an overuse or repetitive stress injury of the attachment of the muscles of the lower leg to the shin bone. This injury is very common among new beginners and people who are returning to running after an extended period of time. Physiotherapy can help loosen the affected muscles, correct any altered biomechanics and an appropriate stretching and strengthening programme can be provided.
  • Illotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is associated with the Illotibial band, which lies along the outside of the thigh from the hip to the knee. This can occur as a result of a sudden change in training, especially running down hill. Massage or dry needling of the quadriceps muscles and a strengthening programme can be helpful.

Many of these injuries can be prevented by keeping a proper form while training, doing strength training and wearing the right kind of shoes for your running needs. Strong muscles are the key to enduring the impact caused by running. It also helps to improve your form and leads to a consistent gait.

Don’t forget, warm ups can help reduce the likelihood of an injury.

In terms of proper posture, all runners should look ahead while running and keep their upper body relaxed and upright. Maintain a short stride length in order to prevent muscle injuries; land mid-foot and work towards a quicker running pace.

The shoes that you wear can hugely reduce the risk of injuries occurring. Look for a shoe that are comfortable and that fit your biomechanics. Ask a specialist to help you find the pair that is right for you. In some cases, orthotics may be advised depending on your needs. Here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy, we have a large range of off-the-shelf and custom insoles available.

If you are experiencing any pain caused by running injuries, our chartered physiotherapists are fully trained to deal with these problems effectively. Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic, will have you back on your feet in no time.

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