Three Ways to Prevent Common Running Injuries

By: Dr. Tara Dawson, PT, DPT   Body One Orthopedic Resident  


Whether you are new to running or caught the running bug a long time ago, proper joint mobility and muscle strength are essential components in injury prevention. As a distance runner myself, I can attest to the importance of proper stretching and strengthening as part of my training program. The best way to prevent injuries is to of course have a good foundation of what factors put individuals at an increased risk for common injuries. Let’s take a deeper dive into three of the risk factors associated with running injuries and address some ways to help!


  • Lack of ankle mobility

When your ankle range of motion is limited, it is common to compensate by altering your normal running pattern. Tightness in the calf muscles is a common reason for lacking necessary ankle mobility. Try these stretches below to help improve muscle length of your calves. It’s important to stretch with your knee straight AND bent in order to isolate the two muscle groups that could be limiting ankle motion.



  • Hip flexor tightness

The hip flexors are the muscles located on the front of the hips that help propel the legs forward during running. It is important to stretch these muscles both before and after going on runs to prevent them from becoming tight! The stretch below is a great way to target the hip flexors.


  • Weakness of hip muscles

The muscles on the sides of your hips, called your hip abductors, play a key role in stabilizing your hips during single leg stance activities. Because running is a series of repetitive single leg standing, it is important to maintain adequate strength to prevent injury. The exercise below is a great way to strengthen this muscle group.



If you want help in identifying these mobility or strength limitations, call Body One Physical Therapy to set up an initial consultation with Dr. Tara Dawson, who has a special interest in treating runners. Whether you are a novice runner or an experienced marathoner, Dr. Dawson can help maximize your function and help prevent future injuries. She is currently seeing patients at both our Zionsville and Fishers locations. To make an appointment, call or click today!