The effect of gender and weekly running distance on running : related injury patterns and prevalence in short, middle and long-distance runners

Kosciuk, Anna Katarzyna (2019) The effect of gender and weekly running distance on running : related injury patterns and prevalence in short, middle and long-distance runners. (MSc(R) thesis), Kingston University, .


Background: Running-related injuries constitute a major health concern, especially with increases in recreational running and a growing number of distance running events. Literature broadly suggests that females could be at greater risk of sustaining traumas than males, but specific risk factors are unclear. Distance has also been shown to affect injury occurrence in runners, however to date, no protective threshold has been established in the amount of mileage per week. Aim: To investigate the effects of gender and weekly distance on lower extremity injury prevalence in runners. Methods: This research consisted of two studies. Study one was a retrospective cohort study, which was designed to investigate the prevalence of running-related injuries and establish trends in short, middle- and long-distance runners. Anonymised self-reported data related to running routine of 386 females and 614 males who attended a sports clinic for footwear prescription were sampled and analysed. The second study investigated 26 middle-distance runners (13 males and 13 females) in relation to their foot mobility, lower limb function and gait biomechanics through variety of static clinically recognised tests, such as Foot Posture Index, Windlass Mechanism, Supination Resistance and Single Leg Squat Tests and dynamic 2-dimensional video analysis. Results: According to data in Study 1, both male and female runners in all distance groups were found to be at a very high risk of self -reported running-related traumas (80.5%-86.9%) and distance was not established as an injury risk factor (p> 0.05). Females had greater injury rates than males in each distance group, with the greatest difference observed in middle distance runners (females 91.5%, males 76.0%). Knee injuries were the most common traumas reported by each population, followed by the foot and shank. A significantly higher number of hip injuries were reported by females than males. According to data in Study 2, male middle-distance runners were found to suffer from knee (40%), shank (30%) and foot injuries (20%). In females, hip (33.3%), ankle (33.3%) and foot injuries (33.3%) were most common. Males and females also exhibited different characteristics in relation to foot mobility and knee motion pathway. Additionally, a positive relationship between injury occurrence and supination resistance was found in the left foot (p<0.05). Conclusion: Overall, all runners were found to be at a high injury risk, regardless of running distance, which was found not to be significant for injury prevalence. Females were found to be at a high, and significantly greater, risk of running-related issues compared to males, which was not explained by training habits. Although males and females showed similarity in patterns of injury, it was hypothesised that the underlying pathway of those injuries might differ between runners due to variety of internal factors associated with gender. Females had more pronated and flexible feet than males. Further research should focus on investigating how foot and lower limb mobility, body anatomy and hormonal status affects movement biomechanics in males and females to develop strategies to protect runners from running related issues through exercise, footwear recommendation and gait education.

Actions (Repository Editors)

Item Control Page Item Control Page