Common Running Injuries
Kevin Lau, Musculoskeletal Therapist
The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is a very popular running event in the sporting calendar, and the unfortunate reality for most runners training for such an event is the increased chance of injury associated with running long distances.
Here are the 3 most common running injuries I have treated patients for, and some tips on how to avoid them.
- Iliotibial Band (ITB) Friction Syndrome is a mild to severe pain felt on the outside of the knee. The constant friction generated over the lateral condyle of the femur by an overly tight ITB during a run causes microtrauma and inflammation. Stretch quads and hip flexor muscles on a regular basis and use a foam roller to self-massage the ITB. Lower-limb strength, stability and balance needs to be addressed to rectify predisposing factors.
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome or most commonly known as ‘runner’s knee’, is mild to severe pain felt below or behind the kneecap. It is associated with the repetitive pounding of the pavement and downhill forces adding to the excessive joint pressure between the kneecap and femoral groove. Try and stick to flat and softer terrain with more occasional uphill running. A strength program to assist with hip stability will also help with knee alignment and reduce the pressure placed on joints.
- Plantar Fasciitis is most commonly seen in runners who toe-off or forefoot strike during running. Pain is felt under the heel or arch of the foot and is usually at its worst in the mornings with the first few steps and eases with activity. Make sure you are wearing the correct runners for your feet and gait with adequate arch support. Before a run, loosen up the ankle joint by going through the range of motion. After a run, stretch the calves and achilles tendon and use a triggerball to roll under the arch of the foot.