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Running Injuries: The Basic Principles

Posted on 8th July 2016 by

There are 2 main types of running injuries that we commonly see at goPhysio:

  1. Traumatic injuries
  2. Overuse injuries

Traumatic injuries are caused by an accident or ‘traumatic event’ for example tripping over when you’re running or having a fall.

These type of injuries usually happen unexpectedly and are therefore difficult to prevent, however there are a few things you can do to help reduce the risk of these types of injuries.

  • Invest in good quality running shoes that are suitable for the type of running (trail, road etc.).
  • Wear the correct shoes and clothing for the weather conditions.
  • Warm up well to help prevent injuries that may be caused by sudden movements.
  • Listen to your body – if you’re not feeling 100%, are overly tired or recovering from an injury, you’ll be more at risk of having an accident.

If you suffer a mild to moderate traumatic injury, the best course of action is to follow the P.O.L.I.C.E. acute injury management programme. This will give you the best chance of a speedy recovery and return to running.

It’s important to remember that even if you need to rest from running, try and stay as active as you can and find alternative forms of exercise like swimming or cycling, where you can maintain your fitness, strength and flexibility but still allow your injury to recover.

It’s also very important to do specific exercises to work your injured are to recover strength and flexibility. This is particularly important to help prevent any re-injury once you’re back to running.

Overuse injuries are caused by repetitive movements that build up over time, that eventually your body can’t cope with. Given the repetitive and high impact nature of running, overuse injuries in runners are extremely common.

There are 2 main causes of overuse injuries:

Extrinsic Causes

These relate to external factors such as:

  • Footwear – wearing the wrong type of shoe for you or a shoe that’s worn out.
  • Running surfaces – repeated running on overly hard surfaces or on a certain camber.
  • Your training programme – normally overtraining, so increasing speed or distances too quickly and not allowing adequate recovery time.

Intrinsic Causes

These are related to your physical build and design. These include:

  • Muscle imbalances
  • Lack of flexibility or even over flexibility
  • Running technique
  • Biomechanics
  • Your own skeletal design

It can often be a cumulative combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors that lead to an injury. You can read more about overuse injuries on another one of our blogs.

 


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