Overuse injuries in running

By Ebony, Healthy Mates Physiotherapist

The combination of restrictions to fitness facilities, great weather for exercise and the motivation of a new year is the perfect scenario for an overuse injury to occur.

The excitement of being out and about and the motivation to move more can overdo the amount of exercise that your body is able to manage, which can result in overuse injuries.

Overuse injuries are caused by repetitive trauma, and are different from acute injuries where the injury is usually as a result of a single trauma. This can happen from a training error, or if you take on too much activity too quickly.

Common overuse injuries at this time of year occur from activities such as tennis, swimming and in particular running. Studies of running injuries have shown that up to 80% of injuries are caused by overuse.

Our physiotherapists and exercise physiologists at both of our Bendigo and Mallee locations find that many patients who present with overuse injuries, could have easily prevented these injuries with the correct approach.

If starting or increasing running is your 2021 resolution, here are some tips to ensure you injure yourself.

  1. Train properly

Poor running training can include excessive changes in volume, intensity, frequency and type of exercise. Your running program should factor in recovery days to minimise excessive fatigue and risk of injury. Training incorrectly is the most common issue for sporting injuries that physio team see.

2. Check your running surface

A sudden change in running surfaces may increase your risk of injury. A change may include swapping from soft surfaces to hard surfaces or going from running on flat surfaces to hill running. The change between running training surfaces needs to be gradual to allow your body to slowly accommodate to these changes and stop running injuries.

3. Good shoes are key

A good pair of runners is essential. You should consider changing your runners when reaching 700 to 850 kilometres of use. Those old favourite and worn-out runners are not your friend and will increase your risk of injury. Here is a great physiotherapist approved guide to find the perfect pair.

Treating your injury

Treating your overuse injury will start with one of our Healthy Mates Physio team members completing a detailed assessment of your injury and providing you with a specific diagnosis.

Understanding what is causing your sporting injury is paramount to ensuring your management plan is specific to you and your body.

Next, our physiotherapists will work with you to identify the possible causes of your overuse injury, provide you with strategies to minimise these risk factors, modify your activities, assist with exercise prescription and provide manual therapy treatments.

Most importantly, make sure you listen to your body, the no pain no gain rule does not apply here, and suffering in silence won’t help anyone. The faster you address pain, the quicker our team can work to relieve it.

If you are concerned that you may have an overuse injury and would like our physio team to provide an assessment, make an appointment at Healthy Mates Central here.

Information resource: Fokkema et al., 2017