In runners, the knee is the most affected part of the body, accounting for 40% of injuries followed by the Achilles tendon, the inner tibia, the hip and the groin region. The foot and ankle make up 10% and the back 5%, according to Dr. Garcia, a specialist in Sports Medicine.
Knee injuries include patellar syndrome, iliotibial band syndrome, popliteal tendinitis and, less frequently, patellar tendinitis. In the leg and foot, it is worth mentioning posterior tibial tendinitis, periostitis, stress fractures, lateral and anterior tibioperoneal syndrome, achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis and sesamoiditis.
In the lumbar region, hip and gluteus, lumbalgias, trochanteric bursitis, gluteus medius tendinits and ischial bursitis appear. In the posterior thigh musculature, fibrillar ruptures and distensions, pyramidal syndrome, metatarsal, tibia and fibula stress fractures are frequent. The pelvis suffers from injuries such as osteopathy of the pubis, iliac crest injuries, adductor tendinitis and pull-out fractures, sacroiliitis and osteitis condensans.
Types of injury determined by training level
– Runners who run between 5 and 32km a week suffer more from tibioperoneal syndrome, patellar syndrome, muscle soreness, popliteal pain, low back pain, tibialis posterior tendinitis, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis.
– Those who run 32 to 64km per week are more likely to develop Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and stress fractures.
– Those who train 64 to 112km per week present problems associated with body temperature such as hyperthermia and hypothermia, as well as adductor strains and sciatica.
– Elite marathon runners who run between 112 and 290km per week have stress fractures, acute muscle strains, sciatica and overtraining fatigue.
Causes of runner’s injuries
Training errors with excessive mileage, steep terrain, inadequate warm-up and inappropriate or worn-out footwear are the most frequent causes of injuries. The runner’s own biomechanical factors such as alterations in heel support, excessive supination or pronation of the foot, lower limb dysmetry and genu valgum or varus are also among the possible causes.
How to avoid running injuries?
The main factors to take into account to avoid possible injuries are:
– Follow an appropriate level of training
– Choosing a suitable terrain
– Wear good quality footwear
– Start with warm-up exercises
People who start running after years of sedentary life should first undergo a physical examination that includes a cardiovascular and musculoskeletal evaluation.
In addition, to prevent injury, it is advisable to supplement running with weight training to strengthen muscle mass. Static, non-bouncing, slow and gentle stretching exercises should be performed before, after and, if necessary, during running to maintain flexibility of the back, thighs, legs, and plantar structures.