Running Injury Prevention

Running is a very healthy activity with many health benefits. With the current restrictions on socialising and closure of gyms, many people will be turning to running as a form of exercise and as a means to reduce and manage stress and anxiety. With every foot strike, running can create a ground reaction force (impact) of 1.5 to 3 times your body weight. This force is cumulative in nature, and coupled with other factors such as poor running technique, can increase the risk of an injury.

Some of the factors that may either individually or in combination increase the risk of acquiring a running injury:
1. Poor running technique; overstriding, heavy landing on the heels and leaning too far forwards are just a few examples of running techniques that can increase the risk of running injuries.
2. Starting a running program that is too heavy/demanding with regards to frequency, duration and intensity.
3. Inappropriate footwear in terms of selection, sizing, fit and condition.
4. Environmental factors such as the temperature and weather conditions and the running surface.
5. Existing injury(ies), fatigue, BMI, nutrition and hydration.
6. Pre-existing conditions such as osteoporosis, dystonia and diabetes.

Steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of a running injury:
Enter into a running program gradually, easy does it. Talk to your podiatrist about formulating a return to running program.
If you are unsure or you are aware of issues with your running technique see your podiatrist who can conduct a running assessment and formulate a treatment plan.
Make sure your running shoes are fitted properly are the right style for you and are replaced regularly to maximise support and cushioning.
Avoid running at the hottest parts of the day.
Make sure you have a good balanced diet, are rested and well hydrated.
If you have existing medical conditions talk to your podiatrist or GP before engaging in a running program.
If you have an existing injury make sure this has been treated successfully and you have been given the all clear to start running.
Make sure you condition muscle and ligaments for strength and flexibility. Talk to your podiatrist if you are unsure of what this entails.
An annual check up and running assessment with your podiatrist is a good idea to keep everything on track (pun intended). This is particularly important if you use foot orthotics.

As you can see, there are many factors that need to be considered and addressed in order to reduce the risk of a running injury. If you feel you would benefit from a thorough running gait assessment or are just unsure of how to proceed with a running program please contact our friendly team at FNQ Podiatry & Orthotics and make a booking to see one of our Podiatrists.