Common Running Injuries

1. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner’s Knee)

  • irritation of the cartilage on the underside of the patella (kneecap).
  • approximately 13% of runners suffer from knee pain.
  • typically flares up during or after long runs, after extended sitting, or when descending hills or
  • stairs.
  • risk factors: overpronation, weak quads, weak hips, weak glutes.
  • Treatment:

                â—‹ take extra days off or reduce mileage by 50%
                â—‹ run distance you can sustain without pain
                â—‹ uphill running
                â—‹ gluteal, hip, and quad strengthening
                â—‹ cross train: cycling, elliptical, swimming
                â—‹ shorten your stride during running

2. Achilles Tendonitis

  • approximately 11% of runners suffer from Achilles tendonitis
  • risk factors: traning factors (ie. increase in mileage too quickly, surface), tight Achilles tendon,
  • weak calf musculature.
  • Treatment:

                â—‹ rest - this is not an injury to run through!
                â—‹ message with foam roller
                â—‹ cross train: elliptical machine, cycling, or swimming if not painful
                â—‹ calf strengthening: eccentric heel drops
                â—‹ avoid barefoot walking, flip flops, flat shoes
                â—‹ may need to be immobilized depending on severity
                â—‹ NSAIDS and ice


3. Plantar Fasciitis

  • pain along bottom of your heel
  • approximately 15% of runners suffer from Plantar Fasciitis
  • risk factors: runners with very high or low arches, overpronation, training factors (ie. increase in
  • mileage too quickly, surface), weak core musculature and history of low back pain
  • Treatment:

                â—‹ take extra days off or reduce mileage by 50%.
                â—‹ stretching, messaging the fascia with foam roller
                â—‹ NSAIDS, icing
                â—‹ cross train: cycling or elliptical if not painful
                â—‹ arch support if low arch or overpronator
                â—‹ core strengthening
                â—‹ may need immobilization depending on severity

4. Shinsplints (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome)

  • pain along inner shin area
  • typically flares up during long run
  • approximately 15% of runners suffer from Shinsplints
  • common in beginner runners
  • risk factors: very low arches, training factors, shoes with poor support
  • Treatement:

                â—‹ take extra days off or reduce mileage 50%
                â—‹ stretching, NSAIDS, icing
                â—‹ supportive shoe gear
                â—‹ arch support

5. Illiotibial Band Syndrome (IT Band)

  • pain along outside of thigh running from hip to the outside of the knee
  • approximately 12% of runners suffer from IT Band Syndrome
  • risk factors: weak gluteal muscles, weak hip abductor muscles, overpronation, limb length
  • discrepancy, downhill running
  • Treatment:

                â—‹ take extra days off or decrease mileage by 50%
                â—‹ stretching and messaging with foam roller, NSAIDS
                â—‹ cross train: swim or elliptical. Cycling may aggravate IT band syndrome
                â—‹ shorten your stride during running

6. Stress Fracture

  • approximately 6% of runners suffer from stress fractures
  • more common in females than males
  • approximately 13% of female runners develop stress fractures
  • common in metatarsals, heel, and tibia
  • Treatment:

                â—‹ rest, immobilization
                â—‹ avoid all high impact exercise
                â—‹ cross train: stationary bike, elliptical, swimming

  • risk factors:

                â—‹ training factors: increased mileage too quickly, surface
                â—‹ Female risk factors:
                        â–  nutritional factors: insufficient Vitamin D, Calcium levels
                        â–  decreased bone density
                        â–  low estrogen levels