Running Injuries

image1 (3)
Most runners end up seeing a physiotherapist at some point in their running career, whether they run for recreational or competitive reasons. There is a good chance you have experienced an injury already. This can be frustrating and may result in undesirable changes to your running.
Though some injuries are caused by falling or jumping awkwardly, the majority of running injuries are caused by poor bio-mechanical overloading or over use. Injuries can occur almost anywhere, but the most common places are usually in the lower limb I.e the hip, knee, ankle or foot.
Sheffield Physiotherapy can diagnose your injury, provide sports massage, electrotherapy and acupuncture. We can also give you direction on exercises to do at home along with information on how to improve your training regime and prevent further injuries. We can also provide information on correct footwear.

Running Injuries


Knee pain or ‘Runners Knee’

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) or runners knee is very common among runners. The high impact on the knee during the running can cause irritation where the knee cap (Patella) rests on the thigh bones. Runners knee can be caused by many issues. It could be from a bio-mechanical loading problem, or a muscular problem.
You may feel tenderness behind or around the knee cap or pain at the back of the knee. You may feel a sense of cracking or feel like the knee is giving out. The pain usually goes away or subsides when resting, but starts again during activity. Steps and hills can aggravate it. The pain may radiate into the thigh or shin.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation and degeneration of the plantar fascia, which is the tissue that connects from the heels to the middle bones on the side of the foot. Running requires the repetition of the gait cycle over and over again. If this repetitive movement is performed in an incorrect fashion then damage to the plantar fascia can quickly occur.
Plantar Fasciitis creates pain in the tissue area near the heel bone and on the underside of the foot (the plantar aspect). The pain is often worse first thing in the morning, or after a rest.

Achilles Injury

The Achilles tendon is at the back of your ankle. Achilles Tendinitis is a soreness and stiffness within the tendon that worsens gradually. The tendon can also tear from accidental injury, either partially or completely. An Achilles tendon injury can develop from overuse during prolonged or intensive sessions of running. It could also be caused by misalignment of the foot due to tight muscles within the lower limb.
An Achilles injury can cause pain and swelling at the back of the ankle, which reduces movement. The symptoms are often worse first thing in the morning or after a rest.

Shin Splints

Shin splints cause pain behind or along the shin bone. Shin splints occur during physical activity and are the result of too much force developing along the shine bone due to tightness within the muscles. People who run regularly are most likely to develop it, particularly if they run on hard surfaces or downhill.
The pain behind, or along the shin bone increases during strenuous activity. The pain may also get worse when walking on hard surfaces.

Hamstring Strain

The hamstring is a group of four muscles that run along the back of your thigh. Hamstring strain is a common injury in which the hamstring is forced beyond its stretch capacity. Hamstring strain is notoriously difficult to manage. They are a reoccurring issue and can be a constant nuisance if not managed correctly.
Hamstring strain creates tightness and pain on the back of the thigh during movement, especially after running faster or with wider lengths.

How Can Physiotherapy Help Running Injuries?

Physiotherapy can help reduce pain, stiffness, bruising and swelling in running injuries. The physiotherapist can help to improve mobility and strength in the painful area and introduce activity so you can get back to running as soon as possible.
After an assessment of the injury and your bio-mechanics, the physiotherapist may suggest soft tissue massage and electrotherapy. Acupuncture may also be used to promote healing and reduce pain. The physiotherapist can also advise you on exercises to do at home, training improvements and correct footwear.

How Can I Prevent Running Injuries?


  • Make sure you do correct stretching and warm up exercises before running.
  • Gradually introduce changes to your routine rather than diving in head first.
  • Wear the correct footwear.
  • Get regular sports massage.


How Can I Help Myself?

Before you call a physiotherapist there are things you can do at home to ease the pain and swelling of your injury.

  • Take Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory medication (NSAID).
  • Elevate the area.
  • Rest.
  • Put an ice pack on the area.
  • Give the area a gentle massage
  • Try and gently stretch the joint.
  • Compress the area with a bandage.

To get your running injury treated quickly, call us on 0114 268 6677 or email You can also book an appointment with us online.