Why risk a running injury?

By

Sep 7, 2020

Regardless of whether you are a beginner at running or a seasoned athlete, injuries can quickly put a hold on your training regime. These injuries can be mild, requiring simple treatment or training modification, others can be more serious and prevent you from running. Either way, injuries can be a painful setback to your training regime.


Running injuries can occur because of poor footwear, excessive training, poor posture and mechanical imbalances.  Even though they cannot be prevented entirely, there are simple steps your podiatrist can help you take to limit the risk of an injury.  Checking in with your podiatrist for a footwear and biomechanical assessment can help keep you on track.


Bruised nails and blistering

Bruised (runners) nails and blistering are common running injuries, particularly for long distance runners.  

  • Bruised, blackened nails happen when repetitive trauma causes a bleed beneath the nail plate.  
  • Blisters are caused by friction or pressure, typically between your skin and sock.  

Blister formation can be prevented by reducing friction between skin, sock and shoe, wicking away moisture and reducing pressure. They can also be prevented by identifying hot spots and using interventions such as good quality toe socks, double socking, pure wool fleecing, toe sleeves and/or lacing techniques.


Poor footwear

There is no ‘perfect’ running shoe, but there is a large selection of quality shoes available for you to find the one that works best for you! 

Choosing footwear for running is not about the brand, it’s about choosing the footwear that suits your foot type.

Footwear that’s too narrow can cause pinched nerves, corns and callouses. Shoes too wide can result in your feet sliding around, causing friction that leads to blisters. Too short and you are at risk of developing runner's toenails.  


Poor foot posture and mechanical imbalances

Good structural alignment is key to helping you run safely and successfully.  Quality orthotics are designed with precision and offer a high level of control and effectiveness.  Orthotics can improve your foot and lower leg alignment, facilitate foot function, improve muscle balance and stability, reduce rotation and improve tracking at the knee.  When buying shoes, it is important to be aware that the shoe design can alter your orthotic support and may amplify or reduce control. 


Over-training

Engaging in a high training load, whether it be duration, frequency or distance, increases your risk of injury.  For those newer to running, gradually increasing training load by no more than 10% each week is key to helping prevent injuries.  


Muscle imbalances and tightness

Stretching should be performed before and after running to maintain suppleness.  Combining stretching with proprioception exercises can improve neuromuscular processes and stability.  Functional balance exercises such as single leg squats increase muscle strength and help reduce muscle imbalances.