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Injury Prevalence in Runners

In this guest blog Plym Physio’s Nicola Rutherford discusses injury prevalence….

Although I work part time with GB’s elite springboard and platform divers (think Tom Daley and you’re on the right lines), my other special interest is running. Like most runners after a while I got injured so I started looking a bit more into the ‘why’. This was for myself initially, by studying running biomechanics courses and then running rehab courses but inevitably this is what I now use to treat my patients.

Running is one of the most injury-ridden sports - about 79% of us get injured……That’s massive!!

It is also one of the only sports that people commonly don’t receive any coaching in, we just stick on a pair of trainers, go outside…and run! Of course, we expect to be able to run. We are certainly designed to run and there is plenty of evidence to support this, so why does it go wrong so often?

Essentially the biomechanics of the action are responsible. When we impact the ground, the ground reaction force = 2.5 - 3 x body weight. We then impact the floor many times (about 8000 in the average 45 minute run) so if you start doing the maths that’s a huge cumulative force going through our legs.

This means that running is a strength/endurance activity and in my experience most of my injured runners lack exactly that. They can support their body weight but once we start testing to higher levels and get a bit of fatigue creeping-in we start to see all sorts of ‘interesting’ things going on!

Treatment regimes here at Plym Physio, Plymouth revolve around making sure clients are strong enough in efficient pattens to do what they want to do - which is hard work! Looking at running style, posture, placement, cadence are also really helpful in improving running economy. This is then what makes you less likely to get re-injured and in-turn makes you more efficient i.e. you get faster or running for you gets easier! BONUS!!!

This is why we always recommend that keen runners see a Physio to make this important step towards injury reduction and better running. If you’re in the Exeter area, come and visit Michael Otto of Otto Physiotherapy who has in depth knowledge of running and injuries to help identify these issues and get you onto a programme which will resolve them.

Physi-go Run is our running rehab (or ‘prehab’) class to build strength in the right muscles to get those miles done more comfortably, with less effort and less likelihood of injury.