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Reduce Injury Risk Before Running

Updated on June 16, 2011

Tips on how to reduce injury

As a member of the Scottish Chirorpactic Association, Lara would like to present the latest release from the SCA about the injury risk associated with running.

The risk of injury is most prevalent as the new season begins. Often runners have not been so active in the colder months and when the new warmer weather starts they start their exercise programme in earnest. It is when exercise is started abruptly without any build up that injury may occur. Along with the tips below it is probably a good rule of thumb to start your running regime at half the pace and distance to where you think you are able to start. You will them ab able to build your muscle strength and tone with minimal risk of injury.

I hope the information below is helpful to your exercise programme.

Running: Keeping that Spring in Your Step

An estimated four million Britons go running. It's free, it's liberating and it's growing in popularity. But studies* suggest that as many as 65% of runners suffer injury at some point. To reduce the risk of injury, the Scottish Chiropractic Association recommends that runners should:

  • Warm up and stretch properly and regularly
  • Ensure that you have the right shoes
  • Keep hydrated
  • Avoid over-training - most injuries occur from doing too much too soon
  • Increase speed and distance very gradually
  • Do not run every day
  • Intersperse hard days with easy days
  • Seek advice on your posture and running technique from a Scottish Chiropractic Association member
  • Have regular spinal checks and seek spinal maintenance advice from an SCA member
  • If you experience pain, stop running and seek advice.

President of the Scottish Chiropractic Association, Dr Ross McDonald says: "The onset of warmer weather and the clock-change mark the start of the running season. We are already seeing a significant increase in runners on our streets. It is common that many people do not do much in the way of exercise during the winter period then push themselves too hard when they do exercise and do not listen to their body's natural resistance. Often it is only after the event that the damage is revealed. A start-of-season check-up can help prevent these early season injuries".

Chiropractic care has been practised in Scotland for almost a hundred years. The Scottish Chiropractic Association celebrates its 30th anniversary in October.


Chiropractic is a primary health-care profession that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and overall management of conditions that are due to problems with the joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves of the body, particularly those of the spine. Chiropractors focus on the relationship between the structure and function of the human body, primarily coordinated by the nervous system. Treatment consists of a wide range of techniques designed to improve the function of the nervous system, relieving pain and muscle spasm and improving overall health.

*Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 25(5), p. S81, 1993

Keep in top shape


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      wwolfs 5 years ago

      As a concerned mother, I will pass the information to my son. He is a 27 year-old young man and it would have to be his decision.

      It is definitely in his best interest to find out if it would cause further damage. And I most certainly could give him a recommendation as I want him to experience good health. Thank you so much for your reply.

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      Lara Cawthra 5 years ago from Camberley, Surrey

      Thank you for your comments. It is difficult to know if running would damage the foot further without seeing where the surgery was and how that had affected the plantar ligament.

      Perhaps you could take your son to your local chiropractor for an assessment. There are chiropractors who have a special interest in sports injuries and if you were to find one who is knowledgeable about running,particularly the stresses and strains in the growing child. Then they may be able to assist you best

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      wwolfs 5 years ago

      I have a son who loves running and is always entering different races. His last event, was recently on a trip to Wisconsin, a very cold state. Entering a 2 mile race, he came in at 11th place in 6 minutes, which I think is too fast.

      Years earlier, he had a terrible accident and broke many bones in one foot which required surgery. Will this running damage his foot further? I worry he may have problems later in life.

      These are great tips that I will share with him. You have many informative hubs that are interesting. Thanks for sharing!

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      cialis uk 7 years ago

      Warm ups should always be done to reduce the risk of injury when any training or sport is done.

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      Running Man 8 years ago

      Another tip is to run on grass whenever possible if you are new to running. Running on Road can be a shock to your bones. In fact, If you are new to running, best to start with cross country running.