The dogma of running injuries: perceptions of adolescent and adult runners

Review written by Dr Travis Pollen info

Key Points

  1. The aims of this study were to explore adolescent runners’ perceptions of factors influencing injury risk and compare them with adult runners’ perceptions.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Runners experience high incidence and prevalence of injuries (>40%) (1). Potential risk factors for these injuries include training patterns, biomechanics, footwear choices, strength and stretching, and nutritional habits. While the evidence for these risk factors is mixed, adult runners do tend to be aware of them. Meanwhile, little is known about adolescent runners’ perceptions of risk factors.

Understanding these perceptions is important because they may influence runners’ risk reduction efforts. Therefore, the aims of this cross-sectional survey study were to (1) explore adolescent runners’ perceptions of factors influencing injury risk and (2) compare them with adult runners’ perceptions. The authors hypothesized that adolescents’ perceptions would differ from adults’ perceptions. Insights from this study could be used in future studies to tailor education to runners’ age and help align their perceptions with empirical evidence.

Runners experience high incidence and prevalence of injuries (>40%).
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Overall, adolescents’ perceptions differed substantially from adult runners’ perceptions, which supports the notion that education should be age specific.

METHODS

A total of 659 runners completed a survey (see Table 1). Runners were eligible for the survey if they participated in cross-country, track (>800 m), road races, or recreational running (≥5 miles/week). The study considered runners < 20 years old

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