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Understanding the Risk Factors for Running Injuries: A Chiropractor's Perspective

Hello, runners! As a chiropractor and a competitive runner over the last 50 years I’m deeply invested in the well-being of athletes, especially runners, I'd like to share my insights on the risk factors that can predispose you to running injuries. Being aware of these risks is the first step in preventing injuries and enjoying a safe, fulfilling running experience.

1. Training Errors

Overuse and Rapid Intensity Increases: A common culprit behind many running injuries is overuse. This often happens when runners increase their mileage or intensity too quickly without adequate recovery time. It's crucial to follow a well-structured training plan that gradually builds intensity.

2. Improper Footwear

Shoe Mismatch: Running in shoes that don't suit your foot type or running style can lead to imbalances and strain. Selecting the right footwear, which offers the appropriate support and cushioning, is essential in injury prevention.

3. Biomechanical Imbalances

The Role of Body Mechanics: Individual biomechanics play a significant role in running injuries. Factors like overpronation, underpronation, or uneven leg length can affect your running form and lead to injuries. Regular check-ups with a chiropractor can help identify and correct these imbalances. (See below for our Fit2Run Checks)

4. Muscle Weakness and Imbalance

Strengthening Is Key: Weakness in certain muscle groups, especially the core and lower body, can increase injury risk. Incorporating strength training exercises into your routine can enhance stability and support during running.

5. Poor Flexibility

Flexibility Matters: Limited flexibility can lead to a reduced range of motion and increase the chances of muscle strains. Regular stretching and mobility exercises should be a part of every runner’s regimen.

6. Inadequate Nutrition and Hydration

Fuel Your Run: Proper nutrition and hydration are vital for muscle function and recovery. Lack of adequate nutrients and fluids can lead to fatigue, affecting your running form and increasing the risk of injuries.

7. Ignoring Pain and Early Symptoms

Listen to Your Body: Often, runners tend to 'push through' the pain, which can aggravate minor issues into serious injuries. It's important to listen to your body and rest when needed.

8. Running Surface

The Impact of Terrain: The surface you run on can influence injury risk. Hard surfaces like concrete can increase the impact on joints, while uneven terrain can pose risks of falls and sprains. Choose your running surface wisely based on your body’s adaptability.


Running should be a source of joy, not pain. By understanding and addressing these risk factors, you can significantly reduce your chances of sustaining an injury. As your chiropractor, I'm here to help you navigate these challenges and keep you running healthily and happily. Remember, a proactive approach to running is the best way to stay injury-free.

Check out the links below for some useful drills and exercises that can help improve your running.

Happy running!

During December and January Dr Mark is offering a complimentary “Fit To Run” assessment. This involves a biomechanical evaluation of spine / hips/ lower limb specifically designed to assess potential faults that may lead to injury for runners.

Call us on 9428 4033 to book your Fit To Run Assessment – when making your appointment please state it’s for a Fit To Run Assessment.


Dr Mark has a special interest in helping recreational athletes of all ages perform better and prevent injury. Correct breathing and postural alignment are critical for top performance and injury prevention and is an integral part of “The Over 40 Athlete System” that Mark has developed.

Dr Julie has a special interest in helping mothers and “mothers to be”. Her Post Graduate qualifications in Paediatric Chiropractic and as an ex-midwife give her a unique ability to help pregnant women, new mums and their young children.

Yours in Health,

Dr's Mark & Julie


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