Running and Physiotherapy 


Running is one of the most common forms of recreational exercise currently performed by Australians. It is cheap, time-efficient with no specialist equipment required. You may run home from work, go to the local oval and do laps, or running could even be your way of “switching off” and relaxing. Whatever your reason for running and wherever you do it, it is important to understand some basic principles which could significantly reduce your risk of injury.

Capacity & Load Management

Everyone has a capacity that their body can deal with when it comes to any task. You wouldn’t try and lift a 100kg bench press if your previous best was 60kg. Similarly, it is not appropriate to attempt to run 20 km’s when last week you struggled with a slow 5 km run. If our bodies/body parts can’t deal with the load that we put on them, we are more likely to get injured and be in pain as we exceed the capacity we can deal with. A gradual increase in load is important to minimise the risk of injury.

Dispelling a Myth

Around 80% of runners land with a heel-strike pattern. You may have heard this is wrong and a forefoot strike is better for you and less likely to result in injury. Both forms of strike can be acceptable, depending on your running style and injury history. For some current or previous injuries forefoot strike can actually aggravate your symptoms. Either way, it’s really important to get assessed to find out which style is the most appropriate for you.

Reasons For Injury Due To Running

There are many factors that influence a running style. There are, therefore, many reasons why we might get injured with running. Common reasons include overstriding with each step, being too stiff during the strike phase, too much ankle dorsiflexion in a number of positions during the running cycle and poor proximal control and stability. These are but a few of the reasons we may get injured with running.

Physiotherapy & Running Retraining

Physiotherapists can be excellent clinicians at identifying the reasons you are getting injured with running. At Get Active Physiotherapy we perform a thorough assessment that will get to the bottom of your running injury. The assessment is split in to two parts. Firstly, a detailed assessment of the function of multiple body parts in isolation, combined with functional movements, identifies any weakness or restriction you may have. Secondly, a treadmill running assessment focusing on your running style, this is to identify any potential harmful mechanics. Cues are then given to retrain the body and running style. Specific exercises are also given to overcome any issues identified in the assessment and get you back on track (pun intended!).

If you have any questions or would like to address any running issues or injuries you may have, book in to see one of our physiotherapists. Please do not hesitate to contact Get Active Physiotherapy on 1300 8 9 10 11 or email us at

Leave a comment

Enquire Now