Diagnoses and time to recovery among injured recreational runners in the RUN CLEVER trial

PLoS One. 2018 Oct 12;13(10):e0204742. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0204742. eCollection 2018.


Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to describe the incidence proportion of different types of running-related injuries (RRI) among recreational runners and to determine their time to recovery.

Methods: A sub-analysis of the injured runners included in the 839-person, 24-week randomized trial named Run Clever. During follow-up, the participants reported levels of pain in different anatomical areas on a weekly basis. In case injured, runners attended a clinical examination at a physiotherapist, who provided a diagnosis, e.g., medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), Achilles tendinopathy (AT), patellofemoral pain (PFP), iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) and plantar fasciopathy (PF). The diagnose-specific injury proportions (IP) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using descriptive statistics. The time to recovery was defined as the time from the first registration of pain until total pain relief in the same anatomical area. It was reported as medians and interquartile range (IQR) if possible.

Results: A total of 140 runners were injured at least once leading to a 24-week cumulative injury proportion of 32% [95% CI: 26%; 37%]. The diagnoses with the highest incidence proportion were MTSS (IP = 16% [95% CI: 9.3%; 22.9%], AT (IP = 8.9% [95% CI: 3.6%; 14.2%], PFP (IP = 8% [95% CI: 3.0%; 13.1%]. The median time to recovery for all types of injuries was 56 days (IQR = 70 days). Diagnose-specific time-to-recoveries included 70 days (IQR = 89 days) for MTSS, 56 days (IQR = 165 days) for AT, 49 days (IQR = 63 days) for PFP.

Conclusion: The most common running injuries among recreational runners were MTSS followed by AT, PFP, ITBS and PF. In total, 77 injured participants recovered their RRI and the median time to recovery for all types of injuries was 56 days and MTSS was the diagnosis with the longest median time to recovery, 70 days.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Running / injuries*
  • Running / physiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / physiopathology*

Grant support

The Danish Rheumatism Association (https://www.gigtforeningen.dk/) provided a DKK 75.000 grant for this study. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.