book an appointment with Sydney Physio Clinic now

The Five Most Common Running Injuries

The Five Most Common Running Injuries
The Five Most Common Running Injuries

Running Injuries All To Common

If you are a runner and frustrated with always being injured, you are not alone. Sports Medicine Australia suggest that 70% of runners sustain injuries.
The biggest risk factor for running injuries is “training errors”. This encompasses simple things like building up your mileage to fast (basically, too much too soon) , not giving yourself enough rest and not allowing enough adaption time when changing terrain… Below are some of the most common running injuries and some tips on how to fix them.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the major foot complaints among runners. The plantar fascia is a tissue which supports the main arch of your foot. Repetitive strain of the plantar fascia when running may cause tiny tears commonly at the origin of the plantar fascia at the inside of the heel resulting in pain in this area which is frequently worse in the mornings and leads to an inability to keep running as a result.

What Can You Do To Help Fix Plantar Fascia Pain?: Commonly with plantar fasciopathy pain is felt under the heel or in the foot arch much worse in the morning when getting out of bed and taking those first steps of the day or when moving after being still for a while. Footwear and insoles can play an important role in treatment, as does strengthening muscles that help support the arch of your feet, massaging and stretching the area can also be of benefit.

Preventing Plantar Fasciopathy: If you are looking at being proactive with preventing plantar fasciopathy then having an assessment of your foot and gait biomechanics by a physiotherapist or podiatrist is beneficial.

What Can A Physiotherapist Offer For Plantar Fascia Pain?: At Sydney Physio Clinic we are experienced in the assessment of your injury and prescription of appropriate self management options, we can also suggest better footwear options, insoles and training changes to help manage the pain. Sydney Physio Clinic also has Shockwave Therapy which is a research proven effective treatment approach for chronic plantar Fascia pain and dysfunction.

Runner’s Knee

It is suggested that runners knee is responsible for 40% of all running injuries. Runners knee pain is from the irritation of the cartilage of the patella (kneecap). The pain of runners knee is typically felt during or after a run and probably one of the most common feelings is getting pain going down stairs or hills once cooled down following a long run .

What Can You Do To Help Fix Runners Knee?: Mixing up your training is a good start meaning you aren’t just running day after day. Adding in a variety of exercise like swimming, pool running, cross trainer or cycling and upper body weights can give your knee cartilage a chance to settle. Frequently it is foot biomechanics, thigh flexibility and hip strength and stability combined with your quadriceps strength which as the factors that play a role in someone getting runners knee. Gaining an understanding of the cause and correcting it working on body mechanics and proper running form is crucial.

Preventing Runners Knee: Look at trying to strengthen the muscles that support your knee muscles by performing exercises such as perfect form single leg squats and lateral side steps.

Shin splints

Shin splints refers to the pain felt along the shinbone the most common area is in medial area (being the inside of the shin bone). Shin splints is characterized by pain and tenderness in the area where this pain can be felt before, during and after running.

What Can You Do To Help Fix Shin Splints?: As with a lot of injuries rest can play a big role in recovering from shin splints, rest coupled with regular use of ice packs and anti-inflammatory medication can effectively help settle episodes of shin splints. However receiving the proper diagnosis from a physiotherapist or appropriately skilled practitioner can prevent your shin splints from becoming a chronic condition or developing a stress fracture in the future.

Preventing Shin Splints: This is where training errors play a massive role so make sure you increase your speed and distance gradually and balance your training and load to your legs by introducing cross training to your week with exercises that are less jarring on your shins like swimming and cycling. Regularly stretch your calves muscles and even consider getting regular massage to your lower limbs specifically your calf muscles if you are training heavily. In some situations taping or shin splint leg supports can provide relief to the pain.

Achilles Tendinopathy

Your Achilles tendon connects the two major calf muscles to the heel bone , when this tendon is put under too much stress it becomes irritated and painful. If inflammation of your Achilles tendon is not resolved it can progress to a degeneration of the tendon which leads to microscopic tears and a more chronic longer term situation.

What Can You Do To Help Fix Achilles Tendinopathy?: RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) is a good start. Very seldom will someone be able to continue training through Achilles tendon pain, rest always plays a pivotal role in running injuries and Achilles tendionpathy is no different here. Once the initial discomfort has settled an appropriate loading program can be engaged including regular stretching and strengthening exercises for the calf and Achilles.

Prevention Of Achilles Tendinopathy: Try to avoid regularly wearing high heels which can potentially lead to shortening of the tendon, also unsupportive shoes with zero heel such as flip flops or ballet flats can aggravate Achilles tendinopathy. Consider getting fitted from a specialist running store for your running shoes, getting the right pair of running shoes is money well spent and will save you in the long run.

What Can A Physiotherapist Offer For Achilles Tendinopathy?: At Sydney Physio Clinic we can help guide you on appropriate self management options, we can also suggest better footwear options and training changes to help manage the pain. Sydney Physio Clinic also has Shockwave Therapy which is a research proven effective treatment approach for chronic Achilles tendinopathy and dysfunction.

Iliotibial Band Frictional Syndrome

ITB Frictional Syndrome is an overuse running injury and like all the above running injuries it is caused by repeated trauma and irritation of tissue rather than one specific incident. If you are experiencing ITB Syndrome pain, running through it is usually impossible due to the strong pain on the upper outside of your knee.

What Can You Do To Help Fix ITB Frictional Syndrome?: Because ITB Syndrome is caused by biomechanical failings and muscular imbalances an assessment by a physiotherapist should be your first point of call. However frequently stretching your thigh muscles and some time on a foam roller massaging the muscles of the hip and thigh can certainly make a difference.

Prevention Of ITB Frictional Syndrome: Try and mix up your running speeds and terrain so your knee isn’t constantly making the exact same movement when running stride after stride. Also corrective strengthening exercises for your deep gluteal muscles can help work on the muscle imbalance aggravating the problem and regular time on the foam roller can keep things loose and less prone to friction.

Disclaimer: Sydney Physio Clinic does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products mentioned. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance on The Five Most Common Running Injuries should consult his or her general practitioner, physiotherapist or otherwise appropriately skilled practitioner.

Hayden Latimer is the founder of and principle physiotherapist at Sydney Physio Clinic. Since graduating from Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand he’s gained wide experience practicing across the globe for over 15 years and is now extremely knowledgeable in helping people reduce discomfort and restore function and mobility.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *