Running Injuries

January 28, 2018

Running Injuries and the Benefit of Physiotherapists 

Running is a fantastic way to keep fit and active. If you have started the new year with a resolution to complete a park run or marathon we can help you stay on target to achieve your goals.

Whether you’re a beginner or an elite runner you can suffer from running related pain or injury.

Common injuries include: 

    • Patellofemoral pain syndrome, (pain in the kneecap).
    • Illiotibial friction syndrome, (pain on the outside for the knee).
    • Plantar fasciopathy, (foot pain).
    • Tibial stress injuries
    • Achilles tendinopathy, (heel pain).
    • Patella tendinopathy, (pain in the kneecap).


Causes of running injuries are widespread and are not limited to the following: 

  1. Biomechanical abnormalities

Common ones include a supinated or pronated foot, reduced range of motion in the ankle, an forwardly tilted of hypermobile patella increased hip internal rotation/adduction and reduced quadriceps or hamstring flexibility. Physiotherapists can help to correct these though the use of taping, soft tissue therapy, joint mobilisations, strengthening drills and stretches.

  1. Poor running technique   

One example is ‘overstriding’ which means a longer than optimal step length. This can lead to an increased strain on the patellofemoral joint, patella tendon, tibia, femur, hamstring and plantar fascia. Taking smaller steps or using a metronome to pace yourself can help to correct this.

Another example is the crossover gait pattern where the foot strikes across the midline of the body. This can lead to increased stress on the medial tibiofemoral joint, illiotibial band plantar fascia, posterior tibia and the 4th and 5th metatarsals. Reducing your step length will also help to increase your step width.

  1. Inappropriate footwear 

Shoe fit, structure and movement control properties are all important features when selecting the correct running shoe. Ensuring the right shoe for your foot and mechanics may lead to a reduced need for orthoses.

There are a variety of foot orthoses that can be prescribed by your physio or they may refer you on. Evidence supports there use for a range of running injuries resulting from sub-optimal biomechanics.

  1. Muscle imbalances or weaknesses 

Your physiotherapist can examine your running technique and assess for muscle length and strength deficits. They can then work out an individualised exercise program to help correct any imbalances.

5. Overloading, (going to hard, too fast)

A sudden change in your usual running distance, speed or terrain, (e.g hills, soft sand), can cause injury if you body has not gradually been able to adapt to the changes. An increase in load can lead to a reactive tendinopathy. Refer to our blog, ‘What is Tendinopathy’ for more information on how best to treat this condition.


Physiotherapists at Sportscare have great experience with both treating running injuries and helping you design your own individual running program to prevent recurrences and achieve your running goals.  Please feel free to contact any of us directly if you have any concerns.