J E Taunton, M B Ryan, D B Clement, D C McKenzie, D R Lloyd-Smith, B D Zumbo
To provide an extensive and up to date database for specific running related injuries,
across the sexes, as seen at a primary care sports medicine facility, and to assess the relative risk for
individual injuries based on investigation of selected risk factors.
Patient data were recorded by doctors at the Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre over
a two year period. They included assessment of anthropometric, training, and biomechanical
information. A model was constructed (with odds ratios and their 95% confidence intervals) of possible
contributing factors using a dependent variable of runners with a specific injury and comparing them
with a control group of runners who experienced a different injury. Variables included in the model
were: height, weight, body mass index, age, activity history, weekly activity, history of injury, and calibre
Most of the study group were women (54%). Some injuries occurred with a significantly higher
frequency in one sex. Being less than 34 years old was reported as a risk factor across the sexes for
patellofemoral pain syndrome, and in men for iliotibial band friction syndrome, patellar tendinopathy,
and tibial stress syndrome. Being active for less than 8.5 years was positively associated with injury in
both sexes for tibial stress syndrome; and women with a body mass index less than 21 kg/m2 were at
a significantly higher risk for tibial stress fractures and spinal injuries. Patellofemoral pain syndrome
was the most common injury, followed by iliotibial band friction syndrome, plantar fasciitis, meniscal
injuries of the knee, and tibial stress syndrome.
Although various risk factors were shown to be positively associated with a risk for, or
protection from, specific injuries, future research should include a non-injured control group and a more
precise measure of weekly running distance and running experience to validate these results.