Recent studies indicate 3 most common general running related muscular-skeletal injuries are:
*medial tibial stress syndrome, or “shin splints” (9.5% prevalence
*Achilles tendonopathy- inflamed or degenerative changes (6.2-9.5% prevalence)
*plantar fascial pain- inflamed, degenerative or partially torn (5.2-17% prevalence)
Usually, a tight gastrocnemius complex is associated with Plantar Fasciitis. One study shows: for every 1 degree of ROM lost at the ankle joint, the risk of Plantar Fasciitis increases by 14.6%.
A lack of dorsiflexion (the “up” direction) at the ankle joint, caused by a tight gastroc-soleus muscle complex in the calf, also correlated to increased risk of Achilles and medial tibial stress disorders.
Appropriate chronic therapeutic stretching to address equinus (a condition where dorsiflexion is limited) reduces the risk of these 3 common running injuries.
Static stretches are most effective. Two examples are given here.