Top 5 Running Injuries

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Lateral ankle sprain

If you have ever done fell or trail running then you have probably sprained your ankle at some point in your sporting career. Lateral ankle sprains are caused by something called an inversion injury where the foot is placed on the inside of the ankle in a weight bearing position, most people would associate this mechanism as “going over on their ankle”. This mechanism causes injury to the ligaments on the outside of the ankle by stretching them and causing micro tears within the tissue. This can result in pain and instability of the ankle joint.

Plantar fasciitis

A common injury that causes pain at the bottom of the foot. This is caused by repetitive overuse of the tissue at the bottom of the foot (the plantar fascia). This causes degradation of the tissue and pain on running around the heel. Although named plantar fasciitis (implying inflammation) there has never been research to show that an inflammatory process occurs, a more modern understanding of this issue is more of a degeneration and failed healing response within the tissue.

Achilles tendinopathy

Another every common injury that causes pain at the back of heel. The Achilles is formed by a group of three muscles called the triceps surae. These muscles converge to form the thickest tendon in the body, the Achilles, named because of the Greek warrior Achilles who’s only weak spot was this tendon. Ironically, the Achilles is still a weakspot for many runners and overuse of this tendon and poor running biomechanics can cause pain. As with plantar fasciitis, this injury is a degradation of the tissue with no inflammation.

Anterior knee pain

Anterior knee pain, literally meaning “pain at the front of the knee” is pain associated with the patellofemoral joint, this is the joint where the patella (kneecap) sits in the groove on the femur (thighbone). There are multiple injuries associated with this joint but one of the most common is “chondromalacia patellae” where large forces that act upon the patella cause inflammation and softening of the cartilage on the underside of the patella, causing pain at the front of the knee.

Lower back pain

Extremely common in all populations (94% prevalence in the developed world) and a serious public health concern. Lower back pain is the most common musculoskeletal complaint of them all and for runners it’s no different. Running, especially on hard surfaces puts lots of force through the spine and repeated bouts of running can cause irritation to structures such as the spinal discs, facet joints, vertebral end plates and muscles. This can cause both lower back pain and referred nerve root pain, commonly called “sciatica”.

Heres some tips to avoid running injuries ;

  • Avoid running on hard surfaces. This will reduce the forces involved in running.
  • Try not to run on uneven ground. This may result in an ankle sprain. Pick soft but flat ground if possible.
  • Get a regular sports massage to reduce tension, improve performance and reduce injury risk.
  • Invest in good running trainers.
  • Add in a core stability programme to reduce the risk of lower back pain
  • Strengthening your glutes to prevent knee, ankle and lower back pain.

And if you are injured, Joints and Points Healthcare provide high quality physiotherapy appointments within 48 hours to get you back out running again. Call or email today for advice on 0151 345 6823, [email protected]