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  • Writer's pictureClaire Doolan

Common Running Injuries: What They Are & How to Avoid Them

Updated: Jun 4

Have you just started running ??? Addicted to that runner's high? Or just enjoying moving? Learn about the most common running injuries we see in the clinic and how to avoid them.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome:

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Description: Runner's knee is characterized by pain around or behind the kneecap (patella),

often exacerbated by running, squatting, or climbing stairs.

Causes: Overuse, improper running form, weak thigh muscles, tight or weak hamstrings or calves, and biomechanical issues like overstriding.

Prevention: Strengthening exercises for quadriceps and hip muscles, proper footwear, gradual increase in mileage, and stretching routines.

Recovery: Rest, icing, compression, elevation (RICE), physical therapy, and gradual return to running.

Plantar Fasciitis:

Plantar Fasciitis

Description: Plantar fasciitis involves inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, causing heel pain.

Causes: Overuse, improper footwear, tight calf muscles, high arches, or flat feet.

Prevention: Proper footwear with adequate arch support, strengthening exercises for calves and plantar fascia, gradual increase in running intensity. Biomechanical assessment with physio or podiatrist.

Recovery: Rest, ice massage, stretching exercises, supportive footwear, orthotic inserts (in some cases).

Shin Splints (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome):

Shin Splints (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome)

Description: Shin splints result in pain along the shin bone (tibia), , caused by inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue.

Causes: Overpronation, sudden increase in running intensity or duration, improper footwear, and running on hard surfaces.

Prevention: Gradual increase in mileage, proper footwear, strengthening exercises for calf muscles and shin, running on softer surfaces, and correcting gait mechanics.

Recovery: Rest, ice therapy, compression sleeves, stretching, strengthening exercises, and modifying training regimen.

Achilles Tendinopathy

Achilles Tendinopathy

Description: Achilles tendinopathy involves inflammation of the Achilles tendon, causing pain and stiffness at the back of the ankle.

Causes: Overuse, tight or weak calf muscles, sudden increase in training intensity, improper footwear, or biomechanical issues.

Prevention: Gradual increase in mileage, proper warm-up, strengthening exercises for calf muscles, appropriate footwear, and avoiding overtraining.

Recovery: Rest, ice therapy, calf and lower limb strengthening footwear modifications, and physical therapy.

IT Band Syndrome (Iliotibial Band Syndrome):

IT Band Syndrome (Iliotibial Band Syndrome)

Description: IT band syndrome results in pain on the outside of the knee or hip, caused by inflammation of the iliotibial band, a thick band of tissue running from the hip to the shin.

Causes: Overuse, tight IT band, weakness in hip muscles, running on uneven surfaces, or improper footwear.

Prevention: Regular stretching of IT band and hip muscles, strengthening exercises for hip abductors and glutes, proper running form, and gradual mileage increase.

Recovery: Rest, ice therapy, foam rolling, stretching, strengthening exercises, and addressing biomechanical issues.


While running injuries are common, they are not inevitable. By understanding the causes and risk factors associated with common running injuries, runners can take proactive steps to prevent them. Maintaining a gradual training progression, wearing appropriate footwear, and addressing biomechanical issues through strength training and can significantly reduce the likelihood of injury. In the event of an injury, early intervention, rest, and targeted rehabilitation are key to a speedy recovery and a return to pain-free running.

Common Running injuries and how we can avoid them at Move sports physio in Geelong

Book in today with our team MOVE Sports Physio for a biomechanical running assessment and targeted strengthening exercises. Our team have all completed extra training to support runners. We love helping you move and stay injury-free. If you would like to learn more about preventing injuries for running see the attached posts below !

Stay tuned for more info to come.

Or Are you interested in strength training for runners or have knee pain when you run?

Check out these posts to learn more !



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