Most common running injuries: prevention tips and treatment

When we consider the most common injuries in the running population who visit us, there is a common trend in the reason behind their occurrence – overuse. With overuse injuries, we often see there is too little recovery time between finishing one bout of exercise and the next. As a result, structures struggle to keep up with the demand, and therefore breakdown and result in injury. Within runners, this often comes when increasing one or more of the following too much or too quickly: distance, speed/intensity or frequency.

So, what are the most common injuries we treat and how can you prevent them? Keep reading to find out…

Achilles Tendinopathy

Achilles tendinopathy relates to structural changes to the Achilles tendon as a result of excessive loading, without sufficient recovery, over an extended period of time. With the repetition of exercise, frictional forces occur in the tendon creating inflammation and degeneration. You might feel pain or stiffness at the back of your ankle during the first few steps in the morning or notice subtle changes in the thickness of the achilles.

Risk factors include heavily loading the tendon, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, prolonged steroid, inappropriate footwear and over pronation of the foot.

How to treat achilles tendinopathy

  1. Optimize biomechanics: Many suggest there is benefit to using orthotics in both the acute and chronic tendinopathy stages to help tendon recovery.

  2. Controlled tendon loading: loading the tendon not only helps reduce tendon pain, but also strengthens the tendon when performed progressively and in the right manner.

  3. Shockwave therapy: There is strong evidence within tendon related issues that shockwave therapy has a huge benefit. Within Achilles issues, there is excellent results in 85% of cases over the course of treatment.

If you have any questions or would like some advice, just get in touch at

Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a strong band of connective tissue that is important in supporting the arch of the foot. It spans the length of the foot running from the heel to the toes. Increased levels of training: intensity, frequency or duration all leads to an increase in inflammation and degeneration to the tissue.

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common reasons why one can experience pain on the bottom of the heel and foot. Pain tends to be worse in the morning and is generally local to one particular point on the foot.

Risk factors include having flat feet or high arches, aged 40-70, tight calves, wearing high heels and performing repetitive activities.

How to treat plantar fascitis

  1. Your most effective approach to treating Plantar Fasciitis is using a course of shockwave therapy (ESWT). Wang (2012) Reported a success rate of 94.1% in Plantar Fasciitis cases when using shockwave.

  2. Other important changes to make come from activity modification and reducing time spent on feet.

If you have any questions or would like some advice, just get in touch at

Patella Tendinopathy

Patellar tendinopathy is pain due to trauma/inflammation in the patella tendon – the final portion of the quads tendon as it crosses over the knee cap and inserts into the top of the shin. As we land during a running stride, the quads will engage to stabilise the knee cap and therefore creates tension through the shared tendon. This can cause pain at the base of the knee cap that increases with exercise, and it can often feel stiff when warming up.

Risk factors include training for long hours, previous knee injury, low hamstring flexibility and being female.

How to best to recover:

  1. Reduce current activity level to prevent further damage in the early stage

  2. Cross training is advised to maintain fitness level – cycling/cross trainer is a good alternative to running

  3. Decline squats have a good amount of evidence when performed correctly in decreasing symptoms and allowing resumption of activities.

  4. Shockwave therapy and manual techniques can performed in conjunction with exercises.

If you have any questions or would like some advice, just get in touch at