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Risk Factors and Protective Factors for Lower-Extremity Running Injuries

A Systematic Review

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  • 1 Department of Nursing and Podiatry, University of Malaga, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Malaga, Spain.
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A review of the scientific literature was performed 1) to identify studies describing the most common running injuries and their relation to the risk factors that produce them and 2) to search for potential and specific protective factors. Spanish and English biomedical search engines and databases (MEDLINE/PubMed, Database Enfermería Fisioterapia Podología [ENFISPO], Cochrane Library, and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) were queried (February 1 to November 30, 2013). A critical reading and assessment was then performed by the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme Spanish tool. In total, 276 abstracts that contained the selected key words were found. Of those, 25 identified and analyzed articles were included in the results. Injuries result from inadequate interaction between the runner's biomechanics and external factors. This leads to an excessive accumulation of impact peak forces in certain structures that tends to cause overuse injuries. The main reasons are inadequate muscle stabilization and pronation. These vary depending on the runner's foot strike pattern, foot arch morphology, and sex. Specific measures of modification and control through running footwear are proposed.

Corresponding author: Gabriel Gijon-Nogueron, PhD, Department of Nursing and Podiatry, University of Malaga, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud C/ Francisco Trujillo (Ampliación Campus Teatinos), Malaga, Spain 29071. (E-mail: gagijon@uma.es)