A quick look at the stats:
Up to 56% of all runners will get injured once every twelve months.
About 50 to 75% of all running injuries appear to be overuse injuries due to the constant repetition of the same movement.
Recurrence of running injuries is reported in 20 to 70% of the cases.
Running injuries lead to a reduction of training or training cessation in about 30 to 90% of all injuries.
Sports Med. 1992 Nov;14(5):320-35. Running injuries. A review of the epidemiological literature. van Mechelen W.
Tips to reduce injury:
1. Ensure an efficient running style to reduce uneccesary forces on the body.
2. Reduce braking effect on foot – land with foot directly under your centre of gravity
3. Use small arm swing to decrease unnecessary rotation of your upper body.
4. Lean forward slightly to reduce strain on your shins.
5. Keep knees pointing forward as you run, don’t let them turn inwards.
6. Make sure you have prepared and conditioned properly for the training level, this includes; footwear, choice of terrain, environment, conditioning glutes, quads and calves, developing core control.
7. Ensure that you have a structured and specific training program.
8. Consult a professional if you require any advice on the above. Getting the basics right will mean you progress faster and with less risk of getting stopped by injury.
A rough guide to the common injuries we see:
Injury: Spinal Compression
Cause: The axial(vertical) compression that occurs whilst running has been found to have a small impact on the intervertebral disc height. Whilst this is minimal combined with other pathologies it can lead to pain.
Symptoms: Aching in the lower spine during or after running.
When to seek advice: If the pain is affecting your ability to run.
If you are noticing that it is getting stiff and stretching or self-massage is making no difference.
Injury: Piriformis Syndrome
Cause: The piriformis muscle fatiguing and becoming tight. This may be due to lack of conditioning or poor/altered biomechanics.
Symptoms: Pain in the buttock progressing to pain down the back of the thigh. Particularly during or after running.
When to seek advice: If you have tried stretching and massaging your glutes yourself and still find the pain/tightness returning.
Injury: Iliotibial Band(ITB) Syndrome
Cause: The Iliotibial Band causing friction as it rubs over end of the femur/tibia. With the repetative nature of running, this friction builds up and causes irritation of the ITB.
It can be due to poor biomechanics or running style.
Symptoms: Sharp pain on the outside of the knee when running, progressing to pain whilst walking and going down stairs.
When to seek advice: Seeking treatment advice immediately will give you the best chance of correcting the problem before it becomes too inflammed and requires rest from activity for lengthy periods.
Injury: Muscle Tears/Strain
Cause: Inappropriate or inadequate warm-up.
Lack of conditioning for being performed.
Symptoms: Sudden onset of sharp pain in the muscle/tendon.
When to seek advice: Generally immediately for accurate diagnosis and for us to set up an appropriate rehab program to ensure the muscle has the best chance to heal properly.
Continue RICER in the meantime.
Injury: Shin Splints
Cause: The most common form of shin pain is Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome(MTSS) which involves the muscle on the inside of the shin pulling at the bone causing pain and eventually weakening of the bone.
This is usually due to lack of conditioning, coming on when returning to pre-season or increasing intensity of your normal activity.
Other problems that can sometimes get grouped into shin splints is Compartment Syndrome(swelling of the outside of the shin) or Popliteal Artery Entrapment Syndrome (Pain through lower leg).
Symptoms: Increasing pain on the inside of the shin with activity, slowly getting to the point of constanly painful.
When to seek advice: ASAP – the sooner we can identify the reason for the pain we can advise on appropriate footwear, provide treatment to ease the pain and teach you how to condition the muscles properly so that you don’t cause further or chronic injury.
Injury: Patellofemoral Syndrome
Cause: Suddenly increasing load on knee over a period of time. For example; suddenly starting running a few times a week or increasing the intensity of your program.
Symptoms: Pain at the front or under knee cap. Made worse by running. As it gets more irritable it will get painful getting up after sitting or squatting for periods of time.
When to seek advice: If stretching the front of your thigh regularly and after running is not helping.
Injury: Achilles Tendinopathy
Cause: Overuse injury
Symptoms: Pain in the back of the heel.
A lump may develop in the bottom of the tendon (scar tissue).
When to seek advice: It is advised you seek advice as soon as you start noticing the pain, especially if it is getting worse. The sooner we can correct your footwear, recovery and conditioning techniques the better the chance of a quick recovery.
Injury: Plantar Fasciitis
Cause: Overuse of the fascia underneath the foot that is designed to support the arch. More common in runners with a flat arch.
Symptoms: Pain in the heel or foot arch. Is usually worse during/after activity or the first few steps in the morning.
When to seek advice: As soon as symptoms are noticed will give the best chance of a quick recovery as further irritation will be avoided.
If you are looking for further advice on any of the above information, please come in and see us or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are looking for advice on appropriate footwear, the stores we recommend are:
56 Station Street
(03) 9597 0333
14 Glenferrie Road, Malvern, 3144.
03 9509 9199
www.runningfit.com.au 170 Queen St
03 8566 8050