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A retrospective case-control analysis of 2002 running injuries
  1. J E Taunton1,
  2. M B Ryan1,
  3. D B Clement1,
  4. D C McKenzie1,
  5. D R Lloyd-Smith1,
  6. B D Zumbo2
  1. 1Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre, Department of Family Practice and School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  2. 2Department of Education Counselling Psychology and Special Education, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Taunton, Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z3;


Objective: To provide an extensive and up to date database for specific running related injuries, across the sexes, as seen at a primary care sports medicine facility, and to assess the relative risk for individual injuries based on investigation of selected risk factors.

Methods: Patient data were recorded by doctors at the Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre over a two year period. They included assessment of anthropometric, training, and biomechanical information. A model was constructed (with odds ratios and their 95% confidence intervals) of possible contributing factors using a dependent variable of runners with a specific injury and comparing them with a control group of runners who experienced a different injury. Variables included in the model were: height, weight, body mass index, age, activity history, weekly activity, history of injury, and calibre of runner.

Results: Most of the study group were women (54%). Some injuries occurred with a significantly higher frequency in one sex. Being less than 34 years old was reported as a risk factor across the sexes for patellofemoral pain syndrome, and in men for iliotibial band friction syndrome, patellar tendinopathy, and tibial stress syndrome. Being active for less than 8.5 years was positively associated with injury in both sexes for tibial stress syndrome; and women with a body mass index less than 21 kg/m2 were at a significantly higher risk for tibial stress fractures and spinal injuries. Patellofemoral pain syndrome was the most common injury, followed by iliotibial band friction syndrome, plantar fasciitis, meniscal injuries of the knee, and tibial stress syndrome.

Conclusions: Although various risk factors were shown to be positively associated with a risk for, or protection from, specific injuries, future research should include a non-injured control group and a more precise measure of weekly running distance and running experience to validate these results.

  • retrospective review
  • running injuries
  • risk factors
  • multivariate regression
  • patellofemoral pain syndrome
  • BMI, body mass index
  • PFPS, patellofemoral pain syndrome
  • ITBFS, iliotibial band friction syndrome

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