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10 Common Causes of Running Related Injury

Around 3 million Australians participate in running, making it one of the most popular modes of physical activity in the nation. From recreational running in the park, to track and marathon running, this sport is extremely popular and versatile – and for good reason! Inevitably, at some point, many runners will eventually deal with running related injuries. We’ve all been there before – being side-lined from a running race isn’t the most ideal situation.

Much research has been done to examine the exact cause of running related injuries. One of the key pitfalls associated with injury is when the load placed on the body exceeds the capacity for the tissue (ie., bone, tendon, muscle, or connective tissue) to handle the load over a sustained period. Below are 10 further common causes of running related injury.

10 Common Causes of Running Related Injury

Here are 10 common causes of running related injury. If you have a running related injury that has worsened over time or is impairing your everyday functioning – despite undergoing a period of self-treatment, please visit Leading Edge Podiatry (foremerly Complete Podiatry Blackwood).

1. Prior Injury History

Recreational runners with a history of injury are twice as likely to sustain a running-related injury compared to runners with no history of injury. Returning from injury and past injuries can be a strong predictor of injury as well.

2. Training Errors

Research suggests that training errors are the cause of 60-70 per cent of all running related injuries. A sudden increase in training load, frequency, intensity, or duration can cause injuries. Such examples include running excessive distances, or changing training routines too suddenly.

3. Over-Training

Over-training pushes your body too hard every day. This weakens your body, making your body more susceptible to developing a range of injuries. Over-training not only drains your physical health but your mental stamina, too. A combination of both physical and mental exhaustion can lead to further running related injury.


4. Poor Sleep

Poor sleep quality and duration can affect our ability to recover from training and increase injury risk. Studies have found that young athletes who sleep less than the recommended 8 hours per night are nearly 1.7 times more likely to develop an injury.

5. Running Mechanics

Medial collapse mechanics, over-striding and crossover running gait, can place you at greater risk of injury. If you want to find out more about your running style, come and visit us at  Leading Edge Podiatry (foremerly Complete Podiatry Blackwood).

6. Psychological Stress

Emotional and life stressors such as anxiety can increase injury risk. Studies suggest that negative psychological states, low levels of life satisfaction and high levels of stress are directly linked to injury.

7. Running Experience and Age

The body becomes used to the loads it is subjected to – if you are new to running, you are at greater risk of running related injury. Older runners tend to have an increased risk in developing hamstring, calf, and Achilles tendon injuries. On the other hand, younger runners are more susceptible to lower leg and knee injuries.

8. Poor Nutrition

Energy intake must equal energy output – under-fueling can lead to low energy availability, placing you at risk of injury and impacting your overall health and wellbeing.

9. Strength & Conditioning

Strength and conditioning goes hand-in-hand with running. Being vital to improving tissue capacity – conditioning your body enables you to match the load. Lack of running specific strengths can increase injury risk.

10. Poor Choice of Footwear

Wearing the wrong pair of running shoes can cause many injuries to the body. Running shoes should be comfortable, fit for purpose, and replaced regularly to prevent running related injuries.

Overall, there are many common causes to running related injuries – some more common than others. If you think you have a running-related injury, or general concerns about your foot health, see your podiatrist for qualified advice.

In need of a podiatrist, our team at Leading Edge Podiatry (formerly Complete Podiatry Blackwood) are here to help! We provide trusted podiatry services to our patients so they can get back to doing what they love. Book an appointment with us today!

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