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The Most Common Running Injuries


A 2018 meta-analysis study sought to examine the prevalence of running injuries and the most common sites of running injuries in men and women.

Most common running injuries

The majority (~70%) of running injuries occur at or below the knee (Kluitenberg et al., 2015; Lopes et al., 2012). This finding is true for both men and women. In order from most to least common, the most common running injuries are: patellofemoral pain syndrome, Achilles tendon injury, Medial tibial stress syndrome, plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome, calf strain, meniscus injury, fracture/stress fracture, patella tendinopathy, and gluteal injury.

The most common site of injury: Women vs men

Women demonstrated a higher incidence (40%) of knee problems than men (31%). This can potentially be explained by the natural increased Q angle in women (the angle formed as a line from the pelvis to the knee), and can also be applied in other sports. For example, women also have higher rates of knee injury (ACL) in sports such as basketball. Men reported higher Achilles injuries, at 26%, to the women’s 17%.

The most common sites of injury in general:

  • Knee 31%

  • Ankle/Foot 26%

  • Thigh 18%

  • Tibia 16%

  • Hip 15%

  • Other 6-7%

Out of 112 studies, thirty-six met the examiner’s criteria. Eleven studies were used to report injuries, and fifteen studies were used to report the site of injuries.

Francis et al. The Proportion of Lower Limb Running Injuries by Gender, Anatomical Location, and Specific Pathology: A Systematic Review. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2018; 18: 21-31.

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