3 most common running injuries… and what you can do to treat it.

3 most common running injuries… and what you can do to treat it.

I see a lot of runners in my physiotherapy clinic with a variety of injuries but I thought I would share the most common injuries I have seen and how you can address it with changing your running technique.

  • Patellofemoral joint pain (PFJ pain): This is a vague pain around the kneecap which is difficult to locate. It was previously described as ‘mal-tracking’ of the kneecap in its groove but can also be a generic joint overload. A clinical paper I posted recently on Instagram found that increasing your cadence by 10% and transitional into a minimalist shoe reduced knee joint stress and reaction force by 29% and was the most preferred source of treatment.
  • Achilles pain: the most common type is mid portion achilles tendinopathy and is located 2-3 inches above its attachment from the heel. Unless there has been a rapid change in shoes, technique or terrain, this is almost always a load issue. This is doing too much too early and increasing volume and/or intensity too quickly. If pain levels are high, take 2-3 days off. Once settled resume at a conservative volume and work your way back up.
  • ITB friction syndrome: It is strange that I see this often in my clinic because the prevalence in runners is listed as the 6th or 7th most common. This is pain on the outside of the knee as the ITB is put under excessive tension and is irritated as it rubs on the lateral structures. During the recovery phase, maintaining fitness with uphill running (and avoiding downhill) can be very effective. Once symptoms have settled some technique changes include widening your stance while running to avoid excessive pull on the ITB.

This is obviously generic advice and added individual complexities could change effectiveness. A detailed assessment is highly recommended if symptoms persist to rule out a differential diagnosis and identify potential findings such as biomechanics and weakness.

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