Typical Marathon injuries and how to treat them

Typical Marathon injuries and how to treat them

Marathon Injuries and how to treat them.

For thousands of people, April will be a landmark of taking a sightseeing trip around London of 26 miles 385 yards. Whether you are aim for sub 3 hours, 4 hours or just want to get to the finish line, this event is “enjoyed” by elite athletes, club athletes, recreational runners and fun runners alike.

Training for such an event is taken seriously by all competing regardless of the individual goal. Training can involve anything from 30 miles a week for beginner runners up to 140-160 miles per week for top international runners. For most this sort of distance each week presents the body with a few complaints; some that are easily cured and some that will cause a serious interruption to any training regime.

At Perfect Balance Clinic we have compiled a list of the most common marathon injuries and the do’s and don’ts to promote a speedy recovery!

Runners Knee (Iliotibial Band Syndrome)

The Iliotibial band is a sheath of thick, fibrous connective tissue which attaches at the top to both the hip bone (iliac crest) and the Tensor fascia latae muscle. It then runs down the outside of the thigh and inserts into the outer surface of the shin bone (tibia). Its purpose is to extend the knee joint (straighten it) as well as to abduct the hip (move it out sideways).

As the ITB passes over the lateral epicondyle of the femur (bony part on the outside of the knee) it is prone to friction. At an angle of approximately 20-30 degrees the IT band flicks across the lateral epicondyle. When the knee is being straightened it flicks in front of the epicondyle and when it is bent, it flicks back behind.


  • Rest.
  • Apply cold compress or ice to reduce any inflammation.
  • Stretch the Iliotibial band after training.
  • Self massage techniques can also be very helpful in correcting excessive ITB tightness. A foam roller is ideal for this.

Shin splints (Periostitis)

The most common cause of shin splints is the inflammation of the periostium of the shin bone (sheath surrounding the bone). Traction forces on the periosteum from the muscles of the lower leg cause shin pain and inflammation.


  • Treatment for shin splints is as simple as reducing pain and inflammation
  • Rest to allow the injury to heal.
  • Apply a cold compress or ice to reduce any inflammation, especially in the early stages or when it is very painful.
  • Stretch the muscles of the lower leg.
  • Ensure your footwear is correctly supporting the impact of running
  • Maintain fitness with other non weight bearing exercises such as swimming, cycling or running in water.

Sprained Ankle

A sprained ankle or twisted ankle is a common cause of ankle pain. The most common is an inversion sprain (or lateral ligament sprain) where the ankle turns over so the sole of the foot faces inwards, damaging the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. This is especially common when running over undulating ground or hopping off pavements!


  • Apply a cold compress or ice to reduce any inflammation, especially in the early stages and follow the R>I>C>E rule.
  • Once swelling has reduced start to build up Rang of Movement- this will be impaired.
  • Introduce wobble boards to work on proprioception.
  • Maintain fitness levels with swimming and cycling

For more information or to book an appointment please call 0800 0724 012 or email us

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