Running Injuries

What causes running injuries?

The biggest cause of running injuries is a sudden increase of running mileage in preparation for a race or personal goal. This significantly increases injury risk due to an increase in running volume (how much), intensity (how hard) and frequency (how often). Changes are often made too fast for the body tissues to adapt to, resulting in injury. Current research supports that the biggest factor for causing running injuries is poor training workloads. It has been estimated that between 60-80% of running injuries are due to sudden increased loading. Other factors such as injury in the previous twelve months and a higher body mass index have also been linked to increased risk of a running injury.

What are some of the common running injuries we tend to see?

Plantar Fasciitis

This is a painful condition caused by inflammation of the band of fascial tissue that connects your heel to your toes. Over-traction of this fascia at the heel attachment leads to pain and inflammation under the heel bone.

Achilles Tendinopathy

The Achilles tendon is prone to overuse, especially with age and degeneration. A weak tendon is less able to cope with high loads of activity.

Shin Splints

This is an umbrella term for shin pain. There are three causes: Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome is irritation of the bone lining and this may lead to a Stress Fracture of the lower tibia. Thirdly is Compartment Syndrome, where the exercising muscles cannot expand to receive enough blood, in turn, causing pain.

Patella Tendinopathy

Also known as Jumper’s Knee, this is an overuse injury affecting your knee. It is the result of your patella tendon being overloaded.

Upper Hamstring Tendinopathy

This feels like a vague, aching soreness high up on your hamstrings and deep in your buttock. Often there is dull ache on sitting for prolonged periods.

Runners Knee

Pain on the outside of the knee as a result of friction of the Iliotibial Band over the femoral condyle causing pain and inflammation. This is also known as ITB Syndrome.

Some tips to avoid running injuries?

  • Strength and conditioning training – will help to reduce injury risk and improve performance.
  • Rest days – your body needs recovery time to repair especially after intense training days. Over training will lead towards tissue breakdown increasing your risk of injury.
  • Variation – include intervals, different surfaces, routes, hills and so on. Repetition is a big cause of injury so mix up your runs.
  • Gradual progression – we suggest one change at a time in your training cycle such as your distance, speed or frequency.
  • Monitor – keep an eye on weekly running volumes to avoid a sudden increase in your training mileage.


How Lilyfield Physio can help you!

MATT our Exercise Physiologist, is an accomplished middle distance runner and currently is a National Level Track Athlete (400/800m). Matt will work with you to help you identify specific weaknesses and provide an effective strengthening program to complement your running. He can help you follow a graded running program where increases in running workload are performed gradually.

KAM one of our Senior Sports Physiotherapists has competed in numerous marathons. Kam has over 15 years’ experience working in elite sport, much of that time spent treating running related injuries. Kam is available to diagnose and treat those annoying niggles and get you back running.

Ready to start moving again?