Top 5 Running Injuries

This blog post is for all the keen runners out there, we're glad you've found this page!

If you’ve decided to take up running this lockdown, or are a running enthusiast in general, then read on below to learn about our 5 most common running related injuries we see in the clinic. Although running is a great way to stay active, fit and improve the health of your cardiovascular system and bone strength, many runners tend to deal with some form of injury at some point. Keep on reading to learn more about the most common types of running injuries, the typical symptoms, and how they’re treated. This is about a 10 minute read, but trust us… it’s worth it!

1. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome Commonly known as ‘Runners Knee’, thus why it is the most common! This is a general term that refers to pain in the front of your knee or around your kneecap. It is an overuse injury most prevalent in sports that involve running or jumping. This is usually caused by weakness in your hips and/or the muscles around your knee, as well as poor load management (too much too soon). Usually felt as pain ranging from mild to severe, worse with prolonged sitting or exercise, when jumping, climbing stairs, or squatting. A physiotherapy can diagnose this injury, with treatment being carried out by either a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist. Should you be in moderate pain or higher, seek a physio’s help. If you are in minor pain, an exercise physiologist may be more appropriate. 2. Achilles Tendinopathy Achilles Tendinopathy (not tendinitis) refers to the degeneration of the tendon that connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. This may occur due to increasing your distance or intensity of your running. This may be caused by one of several reasons - lack of calf strength and endurance, reduced stored elastic energy in the Achilles, mechanical dysfunctions (running technique), lack of ankle mobility, and poor load management. Common symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include: dull pain in your lower leg, swelling along your Achilles tendon and limited range of motion of the ankle. To diagnose this injury seek the help of a physiotherapy, to learn out to prevent this injury you should see an exercise physiologist. 3. ITB Syndrome Your iliotibial band (ITB) is a long piece of connective tissue that runs from your outer hip to your knee. This band helps stabilise your knee when walking and running. ITB syndrome is caused by repetitive friction of your ITB rubbing against your leg bone. It is very common in runners with weak gluteal muscles, abdominals and hips. This injury causes sharp pain on the outer side of your leg, just above the knee. It may be tender to touch and worsens when you bend your knee. If you are experiencing this pain go see a physio to help diagnose your injury and begin treatment. Alternatively if this has been chronic then seek the help of an exercise physiologist 4. Shin Splints/Stress Fractures You may have heard the term ‘shin splints’ before, but the actual prevalence of this condition is quite rare. Usually described by runners as the pain felt in and around the lower portion of their shin, the medical term for this is appropriately known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, which is an umbrella term given to pain in the mentioned area. Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome is more common (pain brought on by exercise), and a precursor to Shin Splints (pain constant even at rest), whereby the shin bone has suffered tiny fractures to it as a result of increased stress/pulling on the bone. These conditions are caused by poor load management, mechanical dysfunctions, reduced calf strength and endurance, reduced foot intrinsic strength and control, reduced strength and endurance of the front shin muscle. For this a physiotherapist and an exercise physiologist is best to see, as treatment will require initial rest, hands-on therapy, as well as exercise rehabilitation. 5. Hamstring Injuries Your hamstrings decelerate your hip and knee during the swing phase of your running cycle. Usually these are caused by repetitive small tears to the muscle fibres that are worsened over time. Symptoms may include: a dull pain in the back of your thigh, your hamstring muscle being tender to touch, weakness and tightness in your hamstring muscle. If your hamstring pain is quite recent it is best to see a physiotherapy to diagnose the injury and begin the healing process. If you have been suffering repetitive and chronic hamstring related injuries then seek the help of an exercise physiologist to help fully rehabilitate your hamstring. Hope you all enjoyed the read! Want to learn how best to PREVENT running related injuries?


Our Exercise Physiologist specialises at injury prevention and rehabilitation for runners. So if you'd like an exercise program that's specific to you and your body, click the button below!




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