A very happy physiotherapist Sandy Wilson sitting on a bench

The Healthy Runner

Injury Identification, Treatment and Prevention

The most common areas where runners will experience pain; low back, hip, knee, lower leg and foot.

Low Back and Hip

Presentation – across low back, outer hip, groin
Diagnosis – strain**, sciatica, herniated disc, bursitis, SI joint dysfunction, arthritis
Cause – weakness in core and hip muscles, muscular tightness, inadequate footwear, poor running form, over training
Treatment – strengthening and stretching, soft tissue release, joint mobilization, nerve exercises, ultrasound, IMS, acupuncture, foam roller, ice, rest


Presentation – inside or outside of knee, under kneecap, back of knee
Diagnosis – patella femoral pain**, ITB friction, patella tendinitis, muscle strain, meniscal tear, arthritis Cause – weakness in the core, hip and quads, tight muscles, strained muscles, inadequate footwear, over pronation of the feet, poor running form, over training, referral from the low back
Treatment – strengthening and stretching, soft tissue release, patella taping, orthotics, ultrasound, anti- inflammatory medications (Voltaren), ice, shockwave therapy, rest

Lower Leg/Foot

Presentation – bottom of the foot, heel, back of the heel, back of the leg (calf), front of the leg (shin) Diagnosis – plantar fasciitis**, achilles tendinitis**, muscular strain, shin splints, neuroma, ligament strain, joint subluxation, arthritis (read more at rheumatoidarthritis.org),
Cause – weakness in core and hip muscles, tightness in calf, strain to calf muscles, ankle sprain, inadequate footwear, over pronation or over supination, poor running form, over training, running surfaces

Treatment – change footwear, footwear first in the morning, strengthening and stretching, mobilization of foot and ankle joints, soft tissue release, taping, orthotics, work with coach on running form, shockwave therapy, rest, ice

Summary – Many running injuries have overlapping causes; poor core stability and strength, muscular imbalances, inadequate footwear, improper training. At the first sign of these symptoms it is beneficial to address the issue with a health care practitioner and/or coach to reduce time lost to injury and potential long-term health implications.

Sandy Wilson, Victoria, B.C.

Sandy is a competitive age-group triathlete and runner with 15 years experience in physiotherapy and the treatment of sports-related injuries.

For a full biomechanical assessment contact Arbutus Physiotherapy www.arbutusphysiotherapy.ca


Scroll to Top