With recreational running becoming increasingly popular among people of all ages, understanding of the injuries that commonly affect the foot and ankle is important.
Over the past decade, running as a recreational activity has become increasingly popular. According to a recent report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, approximately 8% of Australians aged 15 years and over participated in either running or jogging in 2011–2012.
Running appeals to people of all ages, from the young to the elderly. Among them, there is a broad range of ability and level of participation. Some people engage in non-competitive recreational running only, whereas others may participate in the occasional fun-run or half-marathon while others compete in more serious events such as Ironman triathlons and other ultra-endurance races.
Foot and ankle injuries are very common in runners and may occur as a result of several factors. These include a sudden increase in running load, inappropriate footwear, an inefficient running technique or suboptimal pelvic and lower limb biomechanics. This article will focus on three common overuse injuries: plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy and stress fractures. Barefoot running is also briefly discussed.