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Running Injuries Overview at Physio Penrith

How Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith Treats Running Injuries

Running has become very popular as a means of exercise for both recreation and sport. Many have taken up running, either on their own, or within a group, and with many running clubs and running events such as Parkrun and RunWest, and even virtual running events make it easier for everyone to participate. However running isn't risk free, with some research reporting incidence rates of up to 80%.


Knowing the why and how we get injured plays an important role in not only management, but prevention of injuries. There are a range of factors that can lead to injuries, particularly overuse injuries, and this is very much individualised, just as one person's ability to respond and tolerate load or stimulus is different to another. Research has suggested the following factors are an example of what may increase your likelihood of a running injury?


  • Age such as age-related changes to tendons

  • Higher body mass index such as increased load on joints

  • Gender such as pregnant women, or menopausal women due to changes in hormones

  • History of prior injury

  • Body mechanics for example leg length discrepancy, muscular imbalances/dysfunctions

  • Training load and errors for example inadequate rest, inappropriate mix of high and low intensity sessions, increase running volume/intensity/frequency, boom and bust

  • Fatigue

If you are ageing and have a previous history of an injury, then you are at greater risk of another injury.

What does this mean?

Focus on interventions that will enhance you resilience, tissue tolerance and capacity.

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Running-related injury? Call us today 02 4721 1450

The top 6 running-related injuries, which are also very much overuse injuries, we commonly see in practice include:

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITB syndrome): ITB syndrome is the most common injury to the lateral side of the knee in runners, with an incidence of up to 14% and it occurs when the ITB repeatedly flicks or rubs on the lateral femoral epicondyle of the femur (outside of the knee) causing a “hot spot” of pain or aching, inflammation and/or irritation.This “hot spot” tends to occur in what’s called the “impingement zone” which occurs just after heel strike, when the knee is in approximately 20-30 degrees of knee bend (flexion). One study also reported that pain can also be felt during weight bearing (such as standing, squatting), where the knee is held in the 20-30 degree of knee bend in stance.  Other symptoms reported include radiating pain towards the hip and towards the lower leg, as well as tenderness, grating, crackling, and popping sounds and/or sensations. Read more

Proximal hamstring tendinopathy (PHT): PHT refers to buttock pain, localised to where the hamstring attaches into the ischial tuberosity. It can be aggravated with compressive loading, when the hamstring is working with the hip flexed such as deep lunges, excessive static hamstring stretches, and running uphill or up-stairs. Usually those with PHT find their pain worse during or after activities such as running. Research has found that women are more likely to experience PHT, particularly perimenopausal women due to a loss of estrogen at menopause, as it is thought to have a negative effect on tendon homeostasis. Read more

Patello-femoral pain syndrome (PFPS): also commonly known as ‘runners knee’ or ‘anterior knee pain, is a common overuse injury of the knee in physically active populations, with the highest prevalence in women due to strength deficits and biomechanical differences to men. PFP accounts for roughly 25% of all knee injuries in patients, and up to 20% in runners, with patients typically describing increased pain, activity limitations and restrictions associated with activities such as ascending or descending stairs, kneeling, running, squatting or even with prolonged sitting. The two most leading causes of PFP noted in studies include patellar mal-alignment and joint overload. Read more

Medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS): also commonly known as shin pain or shin splints, has been defined as exercise-induced pain along the postern-medial border of the tibial border/shin bone, and can also be provoked with palpation. MTSS is another overuse injury, with incidence rates up to 19%, however studies have surprisingly suggested that 1/3rd of those who suffer with MTSS have a co-existing lower leg injury. Read more

Achilles tendinopathy: Achilles tendinopathy is an overload injury, and is one of the most common overuse foot and ankle injuries in sports, with a 9% incidence in runners with as high as 18.5% in ultramarathon runners, with males affected to a greater extent than females. Achilles tendinopathy can affect the mid-portion of the tendon or where it attaches/inserts onto the heel. Read more

Plantar fasciopathy: is commonly known as plantar heel pain or plantar fasciitis and is a common challenging condition for runners, and is categorised, as the name suggests, by pain or tenderness felt in the heel. Commonly runners may feel pain or discomfort first thing in the morning upon waking, after a period of prolonged sitting, and may increase with prolonged weight-bearing activities such as walking, running or standing. It is estimated that plantar fasciopathy accounts for up to 8% of all running related injuries, and even as much as 7% in the general population. Read more

At Sydney Muscle & Joint Clinic our approach to running injuries focus on two simple but highly effective theories:

1. Mechanotransduction

Refers to the processes through which cells sense and respond to mechanical stimuli by converting them to biochemical signals that elicit specific cellular healing. Simply put - if you add load (exercise) you stimulate healing process.

2. Land-jump-hop

If you can't land, you can't jump. If you can't jump you can't hop. If you can't hop you can't run. Our progressive jumping and hopping program increases running-related tissue capacity.

Running-related injury? Call us today 02 4721 1450

We don't prescribe stretching or foam rolling. Read more on why we don't.

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