Preventing Running Injuries

Written by: Daniel Quinn, Chartered Physiotherapist

Running Injury Prevention

Running is a great form of exercise for staying healthy. It helps to lower the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and decreases the risk of heart attacks. It helps to boost our immune systems, decreasing cholesterol levels, risk of blood clots and increases your lung function. Running also helps to maintain your weight, relieves stress and helps to manage any symptoms of depression and anxiety. Although running helps to improve your health, both mentally and physically, it does carry a risk of injuries.

The most common injuries for runners are:

  • Strained muscles
  • Sprained ankles
  • Patellofemoral Joint Pain (Pain at the front of the knee)
  • Meniscal injuries/tears
  • Plantarfascitis
  • Shin splints
  • Tendonitis
  • Repetitive strain injuries from biomechanical imbalances (suboptimal muscle strength or tight muscles)

These pains can prevent you from training, and in some cases it can prevent you from running all together. So it is important to avoid these injuries, or rehab them as soon as possible, to prevent them from impacting on your running performance. To keep yourself injury free there are a few steps to follow:

  • Always warm up
  • Stretch muscles in the lower body and back
  • Limit your training load to what is appropriate to your level, make sure you don’t over train.
  • Ensure that you are performing a running strength training program, this has been shown to be one of the most effective ways of preventing injuries in runners!
  • Take a Runners Pilates group class, these help to increase flexibility and strengthen specific muscles
  • If you are training for a difficult run, or stepping up a level and training harder than before consider having a sports massage or dry needling to release knots due to the hard training
  • Running technique assessments are also available to increase both your running performance and lower your risk of injury.

If you have any questions on prevention of running injury, contact Daniel Quinn or any of our Team on 01-4913228.

Preventing running injury t oback
Preventing running injury to hamstring
Preventing running injury to knee

Ankle Injuries

Ankle injuries commonly occur during sports, work or daily life. The ankle joint is made up or three bones; tibia, fibula and the talus. The tibia and fibula create an arch around the talus, and is held together by 6 main ligaments. Numerous tendons from muscles move the ankle up, down, in and out. The most common injuries to these structures are:

Ankle Sprains

A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched beyond its normal limits and tears, resulting in pain, swelling and decreased movement and strength. Most commonly ligament injuries occur when you roll your ankle when the foot is either flat on the ground, or when the toes are pointing down.



Occur mainly due to repetitive movements, which place too much stress on the muscle and its tendon. This leads to a poor quality repair by the body, which slowly deteriorates further with increased stress. Tendinopathies generally occur in the Achilles’ and Tibialis Posterior tendons in ankle. These can be characterised as having pain with movement that disappears after a few minutes, and cracking feeling along the tendon and pain with stretching the muscle.



The most common area for the ankle to fracture is the ends of the shin bones close to the ankle. These areas are called the malleoli. The ankle usually fracture when a high force is placed through it that makes the ankle roll in/out, twists or gets pushed into the extremes of flexion or extension. The heel bone can also be fractured if a person jumps from a high and lands of the heel, or even during some car accidents.


As there are many different injuries in the ankle, all of which have very general symptoms, if is best to have your ankle pain checked by your physiotherapist. This will allow them to rule out any serious injuries, provide you with a correct diagnosis, treatment plan and resolve your issues.

Ankle joint
athlete with ankle pain
Physiotherapist treating foot pain