Why Does Running Hurt?

Running Injuries: Why They Happen and How to Prevent Them

Although injury happens in every sport, it seems to be prevalent in running, especially for those who return to the sport after a long period away or those who take up the sport later in life. I’m not trying to vilify running by any means. I focus on it only because it seems to be the go-to sport for a lot of adults in their 30s and 40s. I believe there are two main reasons injuries happen in runners – improper body position and improper technique.

When I say improper body position, I am referring to how your body lines up when you are standing in a relaxed stance. The human body is by no means perfectly symmetrical but it needs to be as evenly balanced as possible on all sides (left, right, front, back) to avoid injury and pain with movement. By the time you reach your 30s and 40s, your body has likely been adapting to certain imbalances for several years, if not your whole life. The pelvis is the most common place for imbalance to occur.

When your pelvis is imbalanced it can cause your legs to appear to be different lengths - a condition referred to by therapists as a functional leg length discrepancy. It doesn’t mean that one leg is measurably longer than the other (that would be a structural discrepancy) but when you are standing, one side of your pelvis is higher than the other causing one leg to look longer.

There are a few easy ways to tell if your pelvis is imbalanced right or left: