Running Injuries Running is one of the most popular leisure sport activities. The overall yearly incidence rate for running injuries varies between 37% and 56% depending on running frequency, with 2.5 to 12.1 injuries incurred per 1000 hours of running. Most running injuries are lower extremity injuries, with knee injuries being the most common. About 50% to 75% of all running injuries appear to be overuse injuries due to constant repetition of movement. Recurrence of running injuries is reported in 20% to 70% of cases. Risk factors for running injuries include previous injury, lack of running experience, running to compete and excessive weekly running distance.
Some of the more common running injuries are documented below: Retro-patellar pain (knee-cap pain): about 40 percent of running injuries are knee injuries. Patello-femoral pain syndrome (PFPS) typically flares up during or after long runs, after extended periods of sitting, or while descending hills and stairs. Increased compression behind the knee-cap, poor patellar tracking and chondral degradation are some of the causes of this condition. Achilles tendinitis: (Achilles tendinosis / tendonopathy) makes up 11 percent of all running injuries. This is due to a denaturing of the Achilles tendon caused by overloading. If the tendon continues to be stressed microtears develop. Hamstring soreness: pain felt in the back of the thigh may be due to weakness in the hamstring group, tightness, or lower back pain referral. Calf tear: the gastrocnemius and soleus are the two major calf muscles. Tightness or lack of calf endurance / poor footwear may lead to calf tearing in the runner. Plantar fasciitis: 15% of running injuries involve the foot. Plantar fasciitis is characterised by pain (ache) typically felt in the under-surface of the heel / arch of the foot, and is usually worse in the morning. The plantar fascia is a tough broad banded ligament-like structure running from the calcaneum (heel bone) to the bases of the toes. Poor arch support, tight calves and achilles tendon, loss of 1st MTP joint extension range of movement, and overtraining are some of the causes of this problem. Shin splints: makes up about 15 percent of running injuries. Also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, this condition relates to irritation of the periosteum (sheath around the bone) at the site of the soleus attachment point. Poor calf endurance, poor calf flexibility, running on hard surfaces, overtraining and lack of arch support may relate to this problem. ITBFS: Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome (ITBFS) makes up 12 percent of all running injuries. This condition is due to the iliotibial band rubbing on the lateral epicondyle of the femur (thigh bone) due to ITB tightness and weakness in the pelvic stabilisers (gluteus medius and gluteus minimus). This condition is worsened when running on cambered surfaces, or striking on the outer aspect of the foot. It is more commonly seen in joggers compared to sprinters due to the varying amount of knee bend required in these running disciplines. Stress fracture: stress fractures develop as a result of cumulative strain on the bone. Runners most often develop stress fractures in the tibia (shin), metatarsals (feet), or calcaneum (heel). They are one of the most serious of all running injuries. Low back pain: in general, running does not cause lower back problems but may exacerbate existing conditions. Tight hamstrings and hip flexors may increase the risk of low back pain in runners. Common anatomical causes of back pain in runners are disc degeneration and facet joint degeneration. Improved core strength may lessen the risk of back pain whilst running.
Injury Prevention: Adequate Recovery: allow for days off. Novice runners will need more rest days than seasoned runners. Strength Training: improving the endurance of deep abdominals, gluteals, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves via strengthening exercises reduces injury in runners. Stretching: stretching of appropriate muscle groups may prevent certain injuries such as retropatellar pain, achilles tendinosis, calf tear, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, ITBFS, and low back pain. 10% Rule: increase your running distance by no more than 10% per week. Interval Training: this form of training can improve your VO2 and anaerobic threshold allowing your body to adapt to running at greater speeds without creating injury. Warm-up and Cool-down: warm-up prepares the body for activity, as well as helping to prevent muscle injuries which can be more susceptible when cold. The cool-down helps the body clear lactic acid that builds up during any activity. Less lactic acid means less post-exercise soreness and stiffness. Use proper equipment: appropriate footwear which absorbs shock effectively, and supports the arches of the feet appropriately is preferable. Know your foot type and buy the appropriately "lasted" shoe: speak to one of our physiotherapists for specifics. Stay hydrated: performance begins to decrease after only a two percent loss in body water. Include electrolytes to eliminate the risk of hyponatremia if engaging in activity for more than four hours. Consume food and drink post-exercise: the goal of post-exercise nutrition is to restore muscle and liver glycogen stores, and improve hydration. You should eat 15 to 30 minutes after exercise. Combine carbohydrates and protein together in a ratio of 4 to 1.
Walking Injuries With access to some inspiring walk paths and stunning scenery, walking is a great option in and around Dunsborough. Walking helps to maintain bone density, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, reduce heart disease risk / heart attack, decrease high blood pressure, improve muscle condition and create a certain level of general conditioning and aerobic fitness. Studies show that walking can reduce the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer, alleviate the symptoms of depression, and improve cognitive function. Though walking is relatively low impact the repetitive nature of walking can lead to injury. There are a number of conditions which can develop with walking. There is an overlap with running in regard to types of injuries seen. Injuries commonly seen in walkers include: Low back pain (disc-related / facetal), in part related to poor core strength / pelvic stability, is more common in older walkers due to degenerative changes in the lumbar spine. Trochanteric (hip) bursitis creates pain on the outer side of the hip due to pelvic instability / iliotibial band tightness. Retropatellar (back surface of kneecap) pain relates to poor patellar tracking, increased patello-femoral compression, and chondral wear of the retropatellar surface of the kneecap and the corresponding patellar surface of the femur. Shin splints (medial border of shin pain) is due to a flattened or rigid foot arch, walking on hard surfaces, calf inflexibility / lack of endurance and overtraining. Achilles tendinitis (more appropriately titled Achilles tendinosis / tendinopathy) is a condition involving degeneration / microtearing of the Achilles tendon due to repetitive loading. Plantar fasciitis- undersurface of heel pain due to degeneration of the plantar fascia: risk factors include calf and achilles inflexibility, foot overpronation, 1st MTP inflexibility and poor footwear. Morton's neuralgia- pain, swelling and thickening between the metatarsal heads, with potential numbness, tingling, and lancinating pain running into the toes due to a flattened transverse arch of the foot / tight footwear. Bunions (hallux valgus)- increased angulation of the 1st MTP joint in part relating to foot overpronation.
Injury Prevention: If you are embarking on a fitness campaign which involves regular walking ensure that you increase your activity slowly. Stay on flat surfaces initially and then progress onto slopes and uneven ground. Incorporating a stretching routine can be beneficial. This should include low back range of movement exercises, stretches for the ITB and gluteals, calf stretches (gastrocnemius and soleus), quadriceps stretches, and stretches for the joints at the base of the toes. Appropriate footwear and adequate arch support is also critical. Core strengthening, gluteal strengthening (gluteus maximus, medius and minimus), quad and calf strengthening may also help to lessen injury rates in walkers.