Running / Sports Injuries

Any sport that involves running, places much greater demands on the body than during normal day-to-day activities. For example, during a 10km run, an athlete will take, on average 3 000 landings per foot. This can involve a total impact force of around 700-800 tonnes of force (3-4 times your body weight) - based on a 66kg runner. Weakness and/or poor structural integrity of the lower limb (i.e. feet, legs) may remain unnoticed during daily activities... but when involved in the more dynamic activities of running / sports, this weakness and/or poor structural integrity can give rise to injury when placed under the repeated strains / forces of athletic training and competition (as well as keep-fit programs). 


The following video helps highlight the degree of forces / velocity the foot and lower limb must endure during running / sports. The following footage is of elite women 5 000m runners (taken at the 2012 U.S Olympic Trials). As you can see, there are varying movement patterns (biomechanics) between the runners... with some showing greater twisting / rotation (torsional forces) than others. The higher degree of torsional forces can potentially place the athlete at greater risk of injury (as well as contributing to less economy thus poorer performance) than an athlete with more optimal stability (this also correlates to the Steve Cram photo / assessment further down the page). In particular, note the degree of foot rotation (lower limb torsion) of the lead runner of the second pack (in the blue and silver spikes) - starting at the 24 sec. point of video...


As a preventative measure, it is important for all sportspeople (as well as those wanting to embark on an exercise program to lose weight and/or gain more fitness) to have the movement of their lower limb structure (biomechanics) assessed by a qualified Podiatrist, to rule out any imbalance, weakness or compromised structural alignment... if there is a problem, then advise can be given and/or treatment can commence. These steps can not only prevent prolonged injury time but more importantly... prevent injury from occurring.

When a person’s foot posture / alignment is incorrect, then the entire body structure / alignment could be incorrect and this could lead to the following conditions:


- Further information via clicking on links (blue underline) below...





Arch Pain / Heel Pain - Plantar Fasciitis


Achilles Tendinosis - Tendonitis


Shin Pain - Shin Splints / Stress Fractures


Knee Pain


Hip Pain


Barefoot Running – the issues involved




  As a runner myself, I have an interest in assisting other runners and sportspeople to perform to their highest standard, whilst minimizing the chance of injuries. Over the years, I have seen many injuries as a result of adverse forces, incorrect balance and posture i.e. leg length difference, feet rolling inwards (foot pronation - i.e. excess degree of forces and time associated with pronation). These problems (in most cases) are simply treated and can prevent further injury from occurring. At Back On Track, the aim is to make sure your foot / lower limb mechanics is functioning efficiently so that you can perform in the most efficient way possible.

 • Excessive lower limb rotation in Steve Cram (328 - Bronze medallist). Note the optimum foot orientation parallel to the path of movement in Seb Coe (326 - Gold medallist) & Tom McKean (351 - Silver medallist).

An example of adverse foot / lower limb mechanics (biomechanics) is seen above: Cram's style of foot plant not only increases the risk of lower limb injuries (i.e. torsional stressors / forces) but it has been estimated to also reduce his stride length by more than 1cm. At Cram's race pace and stride length, Cram was losing a little more than 50cm every 100m - which is quite a disadvantage at this degree of competition (particularly against the perfection of Coe!).



At Back On Track, you will receive a thorough assessment (taking about an hour). This includes a computerised sensor plate / treadmill gait analysis of your walking / running style.

This analysis will assess your biomechanical structure and determine the most appropriate treatment for your condition. This may include prescribing of corrective foot orthoses and / or giving you specific exercises to stretch and / or strengthen muscles.