The incidence of injuries among serious runners (over 20 miles a week) in a given year is approximately 34 to 65%. The most common causes of running injuries are training errors. The most significant training errors are in duration (high mileage), frequency, and intensity along with rapid changes or transitions in the program. Anatomic and biomechanical factors, shoes, surfaces, gender, age, experience, and running terrain are also contributory factors. The history of the previous injury is also a significant risk factor for re-injury. It is interesting that through the years no correlation has been established between a specific anatomic or biomechanical variation and a specific running injury. 

The most frequent injuries in runners include:

  • Anterior knee pain with extensor mechanism problems.
  • Iliotibial band syndrome.
  • Achilles tendon tendinopathy
  • Plantar fasciitis.
  • Stress fractures.
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Runner’s knee
  • Shin splint

Tissues in these areas are all subjected to repetitive forces several times body weight while running and therefore are more susceptible to injury. In distance running, the injuries are generally due to excessive, repetitive usage of various tissues exceeding their stress/strain characteristics for sustained use, resulting in a degenerative process or chronic overuse syndrome. The musculoskeletal system is tremendously adaptable to changes in stress but does require time to accommodate. Its response to stress is either a desirable physiologic, anabolic, regenerative response or an undesirable, pathologic, catabolic, degenerative response, depending on the level and duration of stress. Training within the physiologic window of stressor sub-threshold level with small incremental increases in stress (training)results in increased tissue strength with a desirable training effect and avoids injury. To achieve this goal, a carefully designed training program becomes essential. 

Contact your Physiotherapist for more detail.