QUESTION – What do Manchester, Brighton, Paris, Rotterdam, Dusseldorf, Prague, Edinburgh and London have in common?

ANSWER – Spring marathons!

Its that time of year again. 

For all of you who are running 26.2 miles in April or May this year, January is the month when runners all across Europe are tucking into their 16 week schedule.

An estimated 3% of the UK population have completed or run a marathon. Five million Brits run for charity every year and many more run just because they can.

At froc we treat many sports injuries and runners keep us very busy.

Here’s three of the most common injuries we see:


Also known as Chondromalcia Patella or Patellafemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), runners knee is a generic term used to describe pain around the anterior aspect of the knee.

The most common theory for this condition relates to poor tracking of the kneecap (Patella) on the thighbone (Femur).

For runners it’s usually due to a sudden increase in training or when running on undulating terrain.


The trend is to call this Achilles’ Tendinopathy which encompasses a broader range of Achilles injuries than simply inflammation.

The Achilles’ tendon anchors the calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to the heel bone.

Tendons are less elastic than muscles, so when the muscle is overloaded or not sufficiently warmed up the tendon is forced to help and can’t cope. This results in injury to the tendon from micro trauma.

There are many reasons why runners injure their Achilles’ tendon. Here are some of the most common: 

  • a sudden increase in training, such as increasing speed, running longer distances or changing terrain such as cross country.
  • a change of footwear.
  • a tight posterior chain, this is something we see a lot, where the runner has a chronic low back problem with tight hamstrings and calf muscles.
  • over pronation, this is where the foot rolls inward as it makes contact with the ground.
  • high heels, it’s well known that women who wear higher heeled shoes tend to have shorter tighter calf muscles.


This is very common amongst runners, often known as Joggers Heel.

The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs under the foot from the heel to the toes.

The pain usually starts gradually as a discomfort under the heel, worse first thing in the morning or after prolonged rest.

Risk factors include:

  • tight calf muscles
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • overpronation
  • overuse from sudden increases in training

To be honest low back pain probably ranks highest amongst our runners, but everyone knows we’re good with backs.

There are four osteopaths at froc, we are all runners and get our fair share of injuries. We understand your pain and will share your frustration. As osteopaths, our skill is getting to the route of your problem. We’re bio-mechanics, we know how your made and when things breakdown we love putting the jigsaw back together. 

Whatever you do don’t leave your injury, most marathon programmes allow for injury and illness.

Please contact us on 01342 823722 or email admin@ to discuss your problem.