“Runners are like snowflakes,” sports medicine physician Jordan Metzl, MD, recently explained. “They might look the same from a distance but they are all completely different.” We each have tendencies and histories that give us an individual running profile, but a new study published in PLOS ONE finds that certain factors can translate to a higher risk of injury specifically for women.
To help you stay fit and injury-free, the researchers wanted to figure out exactly what behaviors tend to sideline runners with lower limb injuries. To do this, they systematically reviewed more than 400 studies on running and injury from research databases, and pinpointed 15 worth additional review. Overall, women seemed to sustain injury less frequently than men. However, researchers looked into sex-specific risk factors, and these are some of the female-specific traits they noted:
1. History of previous injury
2. Increasing age
3. Previous participation in sports activity
4. Running on a concrete surface
5. Running a marathon within the previous year
6. Weekly running distance between 30 and 39 miles
7. Wearing the same shoes for four to six months
8. Previous use of orthotics or inserts
And although researcher saw the presence of these risk factors, ultimately they warned that many things contribute to injury for each individual runner.
So, keep these factors in mind, but realize that running is a complex equation that is unique for each person. Dr. Metzl also mentions that, ultimately, most running injuries are the result of poor strength, so it’s definitely worth upping your strength-training game.