Common running injuries
Around half of the 2 million recreational runners in Britain are injured each year.
Running injuries often stem from overuse, biomechanics, sudden increases in training intensity, or inadequate recovery time between runs. These factors strain muscles, tendons, and bones, leading to common running injuries like:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis /tendinopathy
- Runners knee (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)
- Heel pain and spurs
- Shin splints (medial tibial stress syndrome)
- Stress fractures
- Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS)
How do you prevent running injuries?
With the repetitive stress and loads of 2-3x your body weight placed on the body with each step by running, it is important to gradually increase all components of running over a period of time, including:
- Strength and conditioning
Preventing injuries related to running can also be achieved by:
- Running form assessment
- Proper footwear and running shoes
- Activity modification
- Adequate recovery time
Pain relief for running injuries
Alleviating pain from common running injuries requires a comprehensive approach, whether the injury stems from sudden trauma or, as more frequently observed, overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis, runners knee, shin splints, heel pain, stress fractures or Achilles tendon injury.
At our West London clinic we focus on load modification and targeted exercises to improve the resilience of your body, for the repetitive stress that running places on it.
Our aim is to assist you in understanding and managing your symptoms, providing a pathway to recovery and back running as quickly as possible.
Treatment of running injuries
Injury does not always mean you have to stop training. More than 80% of our runners maintain or resume their running routine immediately as a component of their rehabilitation programme.
At our West London clinic treatment will involve:
- Analysing how you run
- Manual therapy
- Running and activity modification
Our aim is not only to get you back running but preventing injuries in the future. We will provide you with a clear plan on how to do this and maintain it after your treatment.
Exercises for running injuries
Exercises will be tailored depending on your ability, injury type, its sensitivity, and duration you have had it. Our exercise programmes aim to:
- Enhance strength
- Address muscle imbalances
- Aid recovery
- Optimise running technique
Your regimen will be personalised, focusing on gradual strengthening and corrective measures specific to your injury following 4 key rules:
- Injury prevention
- Balance and control
- Gait analysis
When should I see a physio for running injury treatment?
If pain persists beyond a few days or intensifies, seeking a physiotherapist’s guidance is advised. Prompt intervention aids faster recovery, curbs injury escalation, and tackles root issues. Early physiotherapy not only accelerates healing but also boosts the odds of continuing running or a successful return to training, lessening the injury’s impact on performance.
What is the most common running injury?
Patellofemoral pain syndrome, commonly known as runner’s knee, accounts for up to 30% of all running injuries. It involves pain around or behind the kneecap and can result from various factors like overuse or biomechanical issues.
When do you know if you should stop running?
Stop running if you experience sharp or worsening pain that persists despite rest or modification, swelling, giving way and locking of the knee or difficulty when bearing weight.
Should I apply ice if I have a common running injury?
To apply ice to any injury was once thought the mainstay of initial treatment. It is now recommended to use ice in the early stages when injuries are severe and there is excessive swelling. Our primary focus should be on encouraging people to safely return to movement as soon as it’s feasible, rather than to apply ice as a go-to solution for injury management.
Should I take anti-inflammatory medications with common running injuries?
To allow the natural healing process it is now understood that we should avoid the use of anti-inflammatory medications when you have a common running injury. The one caveat to this is when swelling is so severe it inhibits normal movement or activity. When we injure ourselves, our bodies send signals to our inflammatory cells, like macrophages, which release Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF-1), a hormone that triggers the healing process by eliminating damaged tissue. Taking anti-inflammatory medication may inhibit the body’s natural release of IGF-1, thereby delaying the start of the healing process.
What should I not do if I have a running injury?
If you have a common running injury, avoid ignoring persistent pain, pushing through discomfort, or abruptly increasing training intensity. Refrain from self-diagnosis or solely relying on painkillers or anti-inflammatory medication. We advise you to seek professional evaluation and guidance for proper care and rehabilitation tailored to your injury.
Can you tell if you’re about to get an injury while running?
Signs like persistent discomfort, changes in gait, or localised tenderness can indicate an impending injury, such as a stress fracture or plantar fasciitis. Listening to your body’s cues over a period of time — such as unusual fatigue, tightness, or joint discomfort — can help anticipate potential issues, prompting proactive measures like adjusting training intensity and seeking professional advice.