What are the 5 most common running injuries?


As you start running this spring, don’t get sidelined by the 5 most common running injuries. 

As athletic therapists and sport physiotherapists in Edmonton the 5 most common running injuries we see are:

  • Runner’s Knee – Runner’s knee, also called patellofemoral pain syndrome refers to pain at the front of the knee around the knee cap. Oftentimes this is a result of the increase in load on the knee joint. To tolerate the impact of running, it is important to engage in strength training and gradually increase running distance.


  • Shin Splints -also called medial tibial stress syndrome, is pain and inflammation on the inside of the shin. This typically affects the tendons that support your foot’s arch and absorb impact during the landing of each stride.


  • Achilles Tendonitis – Inflammation of the tendon at the lower leg where your calf meets your heel is quite common in runners.  This injury can turn into an Achilles tendinopathy (a more chronic and difficult injury to rehab) if not properly dealt with. Poor strength, poor ankle mobility, and an increase in mileage, frequency or speed too quickly may lead to an Achilles injury.


  • Plantar Fasciitis – this refers to inflammation of the band of connective tissue at the bottom of your heel. Its classic symptom can leave you wincing in pain and limping those first few steps out of bed in the mornings, in addition to pain during your runs. Again, poor ankle mobility and poor foot and ankle strength may cause plantar fasciitis.


  • Iliotibial band friction Syndrome (IT Band pain) is another common injury that can plague runners with pain along the outside of the knee. The IT Band is a band of fascia that runs down the outside of the leg stemming from two hip muscles and attaches just below the knee. Managing pain in this area requires strengthening of the hip muscles or foot muscles to help improve your knee control and alignment when running. 


If you start to notice pain during or after running that doesn’t resolve within a few days or is easily aggravated every time you run be sure to seek out an assessment. An assessment and treatment plan from a sports physiotherapy Edmonton clinic, like Advantage Sport Medicine, can help address your pain and keep you running.

As you increase your training mileage, frequency and or speed, being aware of these common running injuries can be helpful for you to be proactive. Slowly increase in your distances, and work on distance before speed to help prevent these 5 common injuries. 

Footwear and biomechanics can also play a large role in injury prevention and management. Discussing this with your physiotherapist or athletic therapist may be helpful. 

Lastly, consider having 1-2 resistance training sessions per week, working with an athletic therapist, personal trainer, or physio in Edmonton. The demands of running require a lot of single leg strength, so incorporating this in your program can help your muscles and joints build the strength to better tolerate running.