Osteopath and sports specialist Peter Horobin tells us about the most common running injuries and how to avoid them.
With all the injuries you see, what are the most common running injuries you come across?
As runners are building up the miles the number of patients presenting with ‘runners knee’s’, ‘IT-Band’ problems and achilles tendon issues goes up. ‘Shin splints’ are probably the next most common condition after that.
Why do you think runners pick up injuries?
That’s a tough question and truthfully it’s a difficult question to answer as there are so many factors that can cause injury or increase a runner’s susceptibility to a pain state.
It’s not as simple as saying ‘x’ causes injury. The majority of running injuries occur due to a combination of factors but often there is some form of training error – such as an unaccustomed increase in running load.
Whilst trying to work out why a patient became injured, I like to keep three questions in the back of my mind:
How much load are they subjecting themselves to? i.e. how often do they run and what is their training schedule like? Has there been an obvious training error? Might their technique be contributing to excessive load of that body part or might there be other external factors such as a change in running surface or footwear which has increased the demand on the tissue?
How capable are they of taking that load? i.e. how strong and robust are the tissues and can they withstand the current amount of training?
How capable are they of recovering from that running load? i.e. do they have sufficient rest days scheduled into their weekly plan? Might there be other factors that are influencing their recovery such as excessive stress and poor sleep which might have increased their susceptibility to a pain state and impaired recovery?
What I love about this job is how challenging it can be to hunt down the cause of a problem but it’s particularly satisfying when you are able to help someone get to the finish line.