The biomechanics of the foot, ankle and lower leg are a complex and controlled sequence of events when running. However if there is a slight biomechanical abnormality occurring anywhere along the chain of motion then the chances of running injuries are much greater.
Intrinsic causes of running injuries
Poor biomechanics is the single most likely cause of injury. The main biomechanical causes of running injuries are either over pronation or under pronation. These contributory factors are discussed in more detail in our biomechanics section but take a quick look at the videos below to see the biomechanical forces in action in the under and over pronator. Its not hard to see why running injuries occur.
Tight muscle groups
Tight muscles can be a major cause of running injuries. If an athlete is prone to injury then one of the main things that should be addressed is tight muscle groups. On this site you will find all the stretching exercises needed to help prevent injury. Stretching regimes are included on each individual running injury page. Below is an example of one of our stretches.
Hold each exercise 30 seconds at a gentle stretch. Do not bounce!
|Frequency:||3 sets 10 repetitions/exercise, 5-7 days per week progressing to 3 sets of 15|
Begin eccentric exercise program 7-10 days after pain has subsided
Start with toes pointed, giving resistance through the theraband, slowly allow your foot into dorsiflexion (heel down. toes up).
Warning: There should be no pain when doing this exercise. If there is stop!
Extrinsic causes of running injuries
Discussed in more detail on our running advice pages. Worn footwear is one of the leading causes of running injury, a close second behind the intrinsic causes discussed before. A running shoe is designed to be worn for anywhere between 5-700 miles dependent on the size of the runner. Once a running shoe has worn the shock absorbing properties of the materials that make up the sole deteriorate and the over all stability of the shoe decreases. The combination of the two can increase the risks of running injuries.
High impact forces
Running on hard surfaces such as concrete can increase the chance of injury. The easiest way to treat this is with a shock absorbing insole and good running shoes.
Over training & poor warm up
Increasing training too quickly is a sure way to cause injury. Take things slowly and ensure you are warmed up properly before exercising.