What causes an overuse injury in a runner?

Overuse injury in a runner most often occurs because of a training error (running too far, too fast, too soon). With every mile that is run, the feet must absorb 110 tons of energy. Therefore, it is not surprising that up to 70% of runners develop injuries every year.

How can overuse injury be prevented?
You can decrease your risk of injury by following these recommendations:

·         Do not increase running mileage by more than 10% per week.
·         Do not run more than 45 miles per week. There is little evidence that running more than 45 miles per week improves your performance, but  a great deal of evidence shows that running more than 45 miles per week increases your risk for an overuse injury.
·         Do not run on slanted or uneven surfaces. The best running surface is soft, flat terrain.
·         Do not “run through pain.” Pain is a sign that should not be ignored, because it indicates that something is wrong.
·         If you do have pain when you run, place ice on the area and rest for 2 or 3 days. If the pain continues for 1 week, see your doctor.
·         Follow hard training or running days with easy days.
·         Change your running shoes every 500 miles. After this distance shoes lose their ability to absorb the shock of running.

What about orthotics to reduce the chance of injury?
Orthotics are inserts that are placed in shoes to correct bad alignment between the foot and the lower leg. You will probably need orthotics if the inside of your foot turns in, a problem called pronation. Your doctor may suggest orthotics if you have bad alignment and become injured and do not get better with other measures, such as rest, ice application and cross training.


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