Running Injuries

Running and jogging are popular forms of exercise that offers numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular fitness, mental well-being, and weight management. However, it also comes with a risk of injury, especially for those who run frequently or push themselves too hard. This article provides a comprehensive overview of running injuries, including common symptoms, potential causes, available medical treatments, and alternative therapies such as massage. Additionally, we will explore the benefits of chiropractic care in managing running injuries and introduce the Zone Technique, a specialized chiropractic approach that may offer the best solution for addressing the root causes and promoting healing.

Common Running Injuries

Several running injuries are prevalent among both recreational and professional runners. Understanding these injuries can help in their prevention and management.

1. Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)


  • Pain around or behind the kneecap
  • Worsening pain when running, squatting, or sitting for long periods
  • A grinding or clicking sensation in the knee


  • Overuse and repetitive stress on the knee joint
  • Poor running form or misalignment of the kneecap
  • Weakness or imbalance in the thigh muscles

2. Shin Splints (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome)


  • Pain along the inner edge of the shinbone
  • Tenderness and swelling in the lower leg
  • Pain that worsens with exercise and improves with rest


  • Overuse and repetitive impact on the legs
  • Running on hard surfaces
  • Poor foot mechanics, such as flat feet or overpronation

3. Achilles Tendinitis


  • Pain and stiffness in the Achilles tendon, especially in the morning
  • Swelling and tenderness along the back of the ankle
  • Pain that worsens with activity


  • Overuse and repetitive stress on the Achilles tendon
  • Sudden increase in running intensity or duration
  • Tight calf muscles or poor footwear

4. Plantar Fasciitis


  • Sharp pain in the heel or arch of the foot
  • Pain that is worst with the first steps in the morning or after prolonged sitting
  • Tenderness along the bottom of the foot


  • Overuse and repetitive stress on the plantar fascia
  • High arches or flat feet
  • Tight calf muscles or improper footwear

5. Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)


  • Pain on the outer side of the knee
  • A snapping or popping sensation in the knee
  • Pain that worsens with running, especially downhill or on uneven surfaces


  • Overuse and repetitive stress on the iliotibial band
  • Weakness or imbalance in the hip and thigh muscles
  • Running on uneven surfaces or with poor form

6. Stress Fractures


  • Pain that develops gradually and worsens with weight-bearing activities
  • Localized tenderness and swelling
  • Pain that persists even at rest in severe cases


  • Overuse and repetitive impact on the bones
  • Sudden increase in running intensity or duration
  • Poor nutrition or underlying bone health issues


Running injuries can result from a variety of factors, often related to training practices, biomechanics, and individual characteristics. Understanding these causes is crucial for prevention and effective management.

1. Training Errors

  • Overtraining: Running too much, too soon, without adequate rest or recovery.
  • Sudden Changes: Rapid increases in mileage, intensity, or frequency of runs.
  • Inadequate Warm-Up/Cool-Down: Skipping proper warm-up and cool-down routines.

2. Biomechanical Issues

  • Poor Running Form: Incorrect running mechanics that place excessive stress on certain muscles and joints.
  • Muscle Imbalances: Weakness or tightness in specific muscle groups that affect overall movement patterns.
  • Foot Mechanics: Issues such as flat feet, high arches, or overpronation.

3. Environmental Factors

  • Surface: Running on hard or uneven surfaces that increase impact and stress on the body.
  • Footwear: Wearing worn-out or inappropriate running shoes that do not provide adequate support.

4. Individual Factors

  • Previous Injuries: History of injuries that predispose an individual to recurrent issues.
  • Age: Older runners may be more susceptible to certain injuries due to decreased flexibility and muscle strength.
  • Body Weight: Higher body weight can increase stress on joints and muscles.

Medical Treatments

The treatment for running injuries aims to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. Here are some common medical interventions:

1. Medications

  • Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen and NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen) can help manage pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Corticosteroids: Injections of corticosteroids can reduce inflammation and provide temporary pain relief for severe cases.

2. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy focuses on:

  • Rehabilitation Exercises: Targeted exercises to strengthen and stretch the affected muscles and improve overall function.
  • Manual Therapy: Techniques such as joint mobilization and soft tissue massage to reduce pain and improve mobility.
  • Electrotherapy: Modalities like ultrasound and electrical stimulation to promote healing and reduce pain.
  • Gait Analysis: Evaluation of running form to identify and correct biomechanical issues.

3. Rest and Activity Modification

  • Rest: Reducing or avoiding activities that exacerbate symptoms to allow for recovery.
  • Cross-Training: Engaging in low-impact activities like swimming or cycling to maintain fitness without stressing the injured area.

4. Orthotics and Bracing

  • Custom Orthotics: Inserts designed to correct foot mechanics and provide support.
  • Braces: Use of braces or taping to stabilize the affected area and prevent further injury.

5. Surgery

  • Surgical Repair: In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to repair damaged tissues or correct structural issues.

Alternative Treatments

In addition to conventional medical treatments, several alternative therapies can help manage running injuries and improve quality of life.

1. Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can help alleviate symptoms by:

  • Improving Circulation: Enhanced blood flow can promote healing and reduce muscle tension.
  • Reducing Muscle Tension: Relaxing the muscles and tissues can decrease pain and improve mobility.
  • Promoting Relaxation: Reducing stress and anxiety can help manage pain and support overall well-being.

2. Acupuncture

Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate nerves and muscles, potentially reducing pain and promoting healing.

3. Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care focuses on diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal disorders, particularly those involving the spine and joints. Chiropractors use various techniques to adjust the spine and other joints to improve alignment, reduce nerve compression, and enhance overall health.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care

  • Non-Invasive: Chiropractic adjustments are a non-surgical treatment option.
  • Pain Relief: Many patients experience significant pain relief after chiropractic treatments.
  • Improved Function: Chiropractic care can improve mobility and function, reducing the impact of running injuries.
  • Holistic Approach: Chiropractors often address overall health, including nutrition and lifestyle factors, which can contribute to better outcomes.

The Zone Technique: A Specialized Chiropractic Approach

While typical chiropractic care offers numerous benefits for managing running injuries, there is a specialized technique known as the Zone Technique that may provide the best results for eliminating symptoms and addressing the root cause.

What is the Zone Technique?

The Zone Technique is a chiropractic method developed by Dr. Peter Goldman. It focuses on balancing six systems within the body, which Dr. Goldman refers to as “zones”: the glandular, eliminative, nervous, digestive, muscular, and circulatory systems. The theory is that imbalances in these zones can lead to various health issues, including running injuries.

How Does the Zone Technique Work?

  1. Assessment: The chiropractor assesses the patient’s zones by palpating specific points on the head.
  2. Zone Balancing: Based on the assessment, the chiropractor performs adjustments to specific areas of the spine and body to restore balance to the affected zones.
  3. Follow-Up: Regular follow-up sessions help maintain balance and address any recurring issues.

Why the Zone Technique is Effective

  • Holistic Approach: By addressing multiple systems in the body, the Zone Technique aims to treat the root cause of symptoms rather than just the symptoms themselves.
  • Personalized Care: Each treatment is tailored to the individual’s specific imbalances, providing a customized approach to healing.
  • Comprehensive Healing: By restoring balance to the body’s systems, the Zone Technique can promote overall health and prevent future issues.


Running injuries can significantly impact an individual’s ability to maintain an active lifestyle and overall well-being. Understanding the potential causes and available treatments is crucial for managing these injuries effectively. While medical treatments and alternative therapies such as massage can provide relief, chiropractic care offers a non-invasive and holistic approach that can significantly improve outcomes.

Among the various chiropractic techniques, the Zone Technique stands out as a comprehensive method that addresses the root causes of running injuries by balancing the body’s systems. By considering this specialized approach, individuals suffering from running injuries may find the most effective and lasting relief from their symptoms, ultimately leading to improved function and overall well-being.

Are You Ready to Heal?