Pain while running?

Pain while running?

January 11, 2022

I get pain when running, what can I do?

The best answer is to see a Physical Therapist (PT). Injuries when running are common, and can lead to long-term consequences if left untreated. Studies show that 75% of all runners have suffered a running related injury and that 40% of those runners never return to running! The classic saying that “Runners are runners,” highlights the mentality of runners to exercise regardless of pain. Yet, running should not be painful, especially when running provides a physical, spiritual, and mental outlet for many.

Runners tend to injure their knees, ankles, and feet. When do you see an expert? There are four levels of injury:

  1. Grade 1 = pain after running
  2. Grade 2 = pain during running, but NOT
    restrictive for training
  3. Grade 3 = pain during running, RESTRICTS
  4. Grade 4 = inability to run due to pain

You want to see a PT at Grade 1 or Grade 2 to correct the problem before it worsens. PT’s will not stop you from running, but may tweak a few things to promote ease and pain free running. The only time you may be requested to stop running is when diagnosed with a stress fracture; this will let the bone heal and prevent further breakdown.

A proactive approach is key! Unfortunately, most people turn to physical therapy when they have progressed their injury to Grade 3 or 4, increasing the recovery time. PT’s can not only help you recover from these more serious injuries, but may also identify the root cause of the problem so that you can run without fear of returning injury.

Some of the most common injuries include:

  • Knee
    • 42% of injuries
      • Anterior knee pain // Lateral knee pain
  • Lower leg / ankle / foot
    • 36% of injuries
      • Plantar fascia // Shin Splints // Achilles tendinopathy
  • Stress Fractures
    • 20% of injuries and generally younger runners

PTs can help with recovery from all of these injuries and more. In brief, as a runner, if you have any of these issues, come see us a Synergy Physical Therapy & Wellness & Wellness. We will spend time to get to understand you, your injury, your training and will find solutions to get you back to what you love… running!

Can’t wait to see you!

-Dr. Dan Coupe PT, DPT


Francis, Peter et al. “The Proportion of Lower Limb Running Injuries by Gender, Anatomical Location and Specific Pathology: A Systematic Review.” Journal of sports science & medicine vol. 18,1 21-31. 11 Feb. 2019

Institute of Clinical Excellence. (2021). Rehabilitation of the Injured Runner. Course. – Reference material for most of this article.

Nielsen, R. O., Buist, I., Sørensen, H., Lind, M., & Rasmussen, S. (2012). TRAINING ERRORS AND RUNNING RELATED INJURIES: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 7(1), 58–75.

Van Gent, R. N., Siem, D., van Middelkoop, M., van Os, A. G., Bierma-Zeinstra, S. M. A., Koes, B. W., & Taunton, J. E. (2007). Incidence and determinants of lower extremity running injuries in long distance runners: a systematic review * COMMENTARY. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 41(8), 469–480.

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