Staying on the road: Avoiding running & sports injuries


From minor irritations to major debilitating events, running injuries are one of the most common reasons why people visit a physiotherapist. In many cases, the damage can be self-inflicted either by incorrect technique, substandard equipment or an existing physiological condition.

While prevention is always better than cure, many sports enthusiasts only get advice and guidance on avoiding the more common injuries after the damage has been done. As experts in how your body moves and functions an assessment by a qualified physiotherapist can help you understand what’s going wrong, the best rehabilitation techniques and how to dodge future problems.

First steps

Clients visiting our physiotherapy clinics in Norwich and South Norfolk often ask our opinion on the best way to prevent injuries in the first place. Running injuries are the result of either a problem with an individual’s movement patterns or because they have pushed themselves too far, too fast. Assessments, such as gait analysis, can prove very helpful in identifying issues with how a client’s body moves during exercise – In particular, where this may be causing or exacerbating problems.

The potential for injury can be minimised by some quite simple changes. Firstly, make sure you invest in a good pair of trainers or sports shoes. Choosing the wrong footwear can cause a number of issues. Just as the tyres on your car have a significant effect on how it handles, so having the right trainers has a major effect on your comfort – especially for high impact sports such as running. It pays to remember that sports shoes act like shock absorbers for your body. Choosing poorly can see you paying the price further down the road.

Secondly, don’t forget to cool down properly after exercise. Stretching helps to reduce muscle fatigue and avoid aches. Lastly, remember to plan sufficient rest time between workouts to avoid over exercise. This is as important as the training itself.


Preventative exercise

Beginners might be surprised to learn that you need to think about more than just the major muscle groups in your legs. A strong core is a much-undervalued necessity. Give your trunk better overall strength and stability with cross-training or gym exercise.

Finally, runners can benefit from specialist exercise routines, such as Pilates. Being designed to improve strength, flexibility and posture, Pilates is an excellent way to ensure that you are paying proper attention to your critical core muscles.

For professional sports injury physiotherapy, including assessment and rehabilitation, call Claire on 07786 515646 for the Norwich Clinic or Sarah on 01508 548535 or 07976009524 for the South Norfolk Clinic.