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The 3 Most Common City 2 Surf Foot & Leg Injuries

ped-banner1Congratulations to all City 2 Surf runners and walkers from Performance Podiatry Sydney. We hope that with the correct preparation, injuries were able to be minimised and fun maximised.

The week prior to City 2 Surf is always busy at Performance Podiatry Sydney, with athletes and amateurs alike getting all of the information they need to make best judgements about shoes, running technique and exercises to reduce their risk of injury.

The week after City 2 Surf is about picking up the pieces. Often our new clients consist of those that have never sought help from a health professional regarding training. Below we will detail the three most common injuries that present to Performance Podiatry Sydney after the City 2 Surf fun run.

  1. Shin Splints

Shin splints is a common term used to describe pain at the front or back of the shin that occurs when walking or running. It involves irritation of the various leg muscles where they attach to your shin bone (tibia). The most common cause of shin splints is overuse or overtraining combined with poor foot biomechanics. Shin splints are usually a combination of factors involving poor movement patterns and errors in training.

Other factors include:

  • Flattening out of the foot arches (overpronation)
  • High foot arches (oversupination)
  • Shoes that are not correct for foot type
  • Increasing activity too quickly
  • Running on hard surfaces
  • Reduced flexibility at the ankle joint
  • Tight calves or hamstrings
  • Poor gluteal (buttock) muscle strength

See blog on How to get rid of Shin Splints.

  1. Bruised Toenails/Toenails falling off

The month following City 2 Surf, or any fun run event, tends to bring with it the participants that pushed through immense pain to allow one or multiple toenails to become bruised or fall off.

Bruising of the toenails occurs due to 3 scenarios.

  1. Shoes are too small or ill-fitting
  2. The big toe is over-extending because of poor joint movement before the big toe joint. This causes the toe to lift up into the mesh on top of the shoe and damage the toenail.
  • The foot is sliding forward in the shoes and hitting the end of the shoe.

These can be resolved by simple changes such as modifying lacing technique, modifying shoe choice and using orthotics to help change the movement at the big toe joint.

However, the toenail needs to be dealt with in order to reduce the risk of permanent damage and deformity of the nail. A visit to the podiatrist could save you by minimising the risk of infection, reducing pain and giving comfort in knowing that you have received knowledgeable advice from a professional.

  1. ITB Syndrome (Iliotibial Band Syndrome)

Iliotibial band syndrome is a common cause of knee pain and outer thigh pain amongst runners. The iliotibial band is a structure that runs from the outside of the knee to the outside of the hip, and stabilises the knee as it bends and straightens.

When the knee moves from a bent to straightened position, the iliotibial band move forward across a bony prominence on the femur. There is a sac (bursa) that sits between the bone and iliotibial band that helps it to glide smoothly across, but if the band is tight it will irritate the bursa. Once inflamed, it tends to irritate more easily and the likelihood of pain resolving on its own is reduced.

Iliotibial band syndrome is more likely to occur in those with:

  1. Poor training habits- running uphill, downhill and on the side of the road can aggravate the ITB.
  2. Poor foot, leg and hip mechanics resulting in excessive twisting at the knee joint
  • Anatomical differences – bow legs, leg length differences and pelvic tilt

It is essential that physical therapy and exercise prescription is started early for positive outcomes in those with ITB syndrome. Biomechanics of the foot and leg need to be carefully assessed to ensure all causative factors are addressed. If the foot posture and mechanics are contributing to ITB irritation, it must be addressed early. Otherwise physical therapy (eg. exercises, massage, stretching etc.) may help to ease symptoms, but the problem will continue to recur.


Laura RabjohnsThe 3 Most Common City 2 Surf Foot & Leg Injuries