Prevention of Running Related Injuries
Running is one of the most popular healthy activities; it is enjoyed by millions of people around the world. It is one of the few physical activities that can be performed by almost anyone, anywhere. Not only is it a cost and time effective activity, it also has proven health benefits such as positive effects on cardiovascular risk factors.
Despite great health benefits, injuries associated with running are common. Research has found novice runners face a significantly greater risk of injury (17.8) per 1000 hours of running than recreational runners (7.7)” (Videbaek et al, 2015). Another study reported the incidence of running related injuries ranged from 19.4% to 79.3% in long distance runners and the most common site of these injuries was the knee (Van Gent et al, 2007). Therefore, it is important to address risk factors to reduce the incidence of running related injuries.
The risk factors can be divided into 3 categories: 1) Training (frequency, intensity, duration, running technique) 2) Anatomical (Foot type, arch height, ROM of ankle, Q angle, leg length discrepancy, gender, BMI, age) and 3) Biomechanical factors (kinematics & kinetics).
Most running injuries are due to training errors resulting in overuse injuries. This is due to an imbalance between the load/volume of running and the time allowed for recovery. Essentially, “too far, too fast and too often without allowing the body to adapt to the new loads” (Bredeweg, S. (2014).
What about foot wear?
Research has found the type of running shoe will not reduce running related injuries therefore when choosing appropriate foot wear for running, it is important for a runner to choose running shoes that they are most comfortable running in and are suited for their running environment.
The key to reducing running related injuries is to expose the body to different stimuli and to allow adequate time for rest and recovery. Some examples of stimuli are different running surfaces, altering training sessions for different durations and intensities, incorporating various running styles or adding other sporting activities to your training regime (Bredeweg, S. (2014).)
Whether you’re a novice runner, a recreational runner, an ultra-marathoner or a track and field athlete. There are some things to consider from an injury reduction perspective. If you’re looking for the right way to get started or to refresh your current routine call your physiotherapist today on 8094 8610 if you are interested in finding out the next steps.
Bredeweg, S. (2014). Prevention of running related injuries. Aspetar Sports Medicine Journal Vol 3, Iss 2. July.
Van Gent, R.N., Siem, D., van Middelk, M. et al. (2007). Incidence and determinants of lower extremity running injuries in long distance runners: a systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 41, 469-480. Pub online DOI: 10.1136/bjsm.2006.033548
Videbaek, S., Bueno, A.M., Nielson, R. O., ^ Rasmussen, S. (2015). Incidence of running-related injuries per 1000 hours of running in different types of runners: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Med, 45 (7): 1017-1026. Pub online DOI: 10.1007/s40279-015-0333-8