Now that fall is around the corner, runners tend to experience not only changes in training volume but also intensity and form of exercise (running outdoors vs. running indoors). Cold, rainy weather tends to push runners indoors onto treadmills. Whether you are a seasoned runner or just beginning, it is not uncommon for injuries to occur. The yearly occurrence of running injuries ranges between 37-56%. A majority of the injuries that we see are caused by overuse. These type of injures are more subtle and usually occur over a period of time because of repetitive trauma to joints, bones, or tendons. As physical therapists we can address not only the cause, but help you heal.
Here is a list of the top 4 running injuries and how to prevent them.
This is also commonly known as “patellofemoral syndrome.” Runner’s knee is due to the irritation of the cartilage that lies underneath the kneecap. Almost 50% of all running injuries involve the knee.
Risk Factors: Overpronation (inward movement of arch/ankle), Weak quadriceps, hips, and glutes.
Change in Running Form: By shortening your stride length and landing on a slightly bent knee, you can decrease the load on the knee by about 30%
The Achilles tendon is the connection between the calf and heel. Tendonitis occurs when the tendon tightens and becomes too sensitive. About 11% of running injuries involve this particular tendon. Pain is typically felt in the calf and/or behind the heel bone that is experiences as a dull ache.
Risk Factors: Excess increase in training intensity, Weak/Tight calves, improper running shoes.
This is one of the most common injuries we see with treadmill training as many people do not use an incline. The achy pain in the front of the lower leg is due to small tears in the muscles that surround the shin bone.
Risk Factors: Excess increase in training, Improper running shoes, Flat feet or high arches.
Every time the foot strikes the ground, force is absorbed through the leg that is several times our body weight. This is one of the top foot complaints among runners. Pain is typically a dull ache in the arch or bottom of the foot that is usually worse first thing in the morning.
Risk Factors: Tight hip flexors, Weak abdominals, History of low back pain, Very high or very low arches, Excess pronation or supination
Not only can we address these risk factors, but we can also assist in helping you perfect your running form, help you determine appropriate footwear, and teach you how to become a more efficient runner.