Running injuries stopping you from achieving your best form? Up to 80% of all runners will sustain a lower limb injury at some point in their running endeavours. Running is a great way to get fit and is an exercise which is free. It’s great to breathe in some fresh air and get fit at the same time. If done incorrectly, running can be associated with certain injuries. The most commonly injured sites seen in a Physiotherapy clinic include: Ankle, knee, other foot injuries, calf muscle strain, heel pain, shin pain, upper leg injuries: including quadriceps, hamstring and groin strains.
Risk factors for injuries
There is strong but conflicting evidence about greater age being associated with greater risk factor as well as a protective factor.
There is limited evidence to suggest that:
- Males more likely to have injuries to hamstrings or calves
· Females are less likely to be injured than males.
· Females are more likely to have injuries to hip joints
There is limited evidence that:
· Leg length discrepancy or difference is associated with increased lower limb injuries.
· Bow legs (genu varum) are associated with increased incidence of shin splints.
· Male runners taller than 1.7 meters are associated with increased risk of sustaining new injuries.
· Running more than twice a week is associated with increased risk of injury
· Running through a whole year without a break increases risk of injury
· Running more than 60km/week increases risk of injury
· Increased length of event is associated with increased risk of injury
· Novices are more likely to injure knee, hamstring and ankle
· Shin injuries are associated with the use of multiple shoes for running
· Shoe age of 4-6months is protective against injuries
· Previous injury is the highest predictor of a new injury
· Alcohol consumption associated with increased risk of injury