The Injury Series

One recurring series I have created on Running Writings is the Injury Series: a sequence of long, detailed and rigorously cited articles on scientific treatments for the most common running injuries.  The Injury Series began as a project to review and distribute information on the latest research on effective treatments for the most common running injuries.  As I picked off the “low hanging fruit”—injuries like Achilles tendonitis and patellar tendonitis with good studies backing simple and highly effective treatments—I began to learn how little was known about treating some of the other common running injuries.  I found that searching the internet for information on any common injury, whether it was runner’s knee or shin splints, would inevitably lead you to the same old websites with the same outdated or incorrect information.

A lot of what’s now accepted as “common knowledge” about running injuries is just plain wrong! Look up “runner’s knee,” for example, and you’ll find plenty of websites claiming that women are at a higher risk because their hips are wider (not true—anatomic differences in hip width do not explain the increased risk of patellofemoral pain syndrome in women).  And plenty of sources still chalk IT band syndrome up to overpronation (in fact, runners with IT band syndrome appear to pronate slightly less than healthy runners).

What’s behind this misinformation? My opinion is that it is the result of poor awareness in the medical, athletic training, and running communities of some of the cutting-edge research that’s been carried out in the last 10-20 years.  This is where the Injury Series comes in.  These articles give educational summaries of some of the most important research into the causes of and treatments for common running injuries.  Additionally, we are able to peek over the horizon at new treatment possibilities that are informed by our newly-garnered understanding of the mechanics behind injury.

The breadth, detail, and rigor of my injury articles has grown over time, to the point where the oldest articles are not documented enough, so the first few can still be thought of as “works in progress.”  While I will eventually rework the older articles, adding footnote-style citations (I didn’t have EndNote up and running for the first few months of my blogging) and updating them with some new information, the overarching message will likely change very little, and many runners have still found them exceptionally helpful.  I hope you feel the same way!