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Risk factors for injuries in recreational runners

What are the risk factors for injuries in short- and long-distance runners?

Current quality of evidence in regard to risk factors for running related injuries (RRIs) is low.

To comprehend the mechanisms of developing a RRI, we need to further unravel the complex interaction of possible risk factors.

Running is an increasingly popular form of physical activity and has many health benefits. But unfortunately, also RRIs occur. To develop an injury prevention strategy, we first have to find out which (or what combination of) risk factors is responsible for the high incidence of RRIs.

In previous literature, previous RRIs (strongest), higher BMI, higher age, less experience and lower training distance were found as risk factors. Our risk model included previous RRIs (strongly increased risk), higher running volume (minimally protective), higher age (minimally protective) and higher running distance (slightly increased risk).

Despite the large amount of data collected, it was difficult to determine to what extent runners were exposed to possible risk factors during a 12-month timeframe, as runners use a micro- and macro periodisation during a running season in preparation for an event. Future research should focus on individual changes in possible risk factors during a running season.

> From: Van Poppel et al., J Sport Health Sci 10 (2021) 14-28 . All rights reserved to Elsevier B.V. Click here for the online summary.

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