Injury Compensation

Unfortunately for Ryan Hall, he has not been in the news recently for an Olympic medal nor will he be in the news for doing well at the New York City Marathon in November. Ryan however, is in the news because he has been struggling with a long run of injuries, beginning with plantar fasciitis.

The purpose of this post is not to discuss Ryan or the relation to shoes and injury (that has been done for us), but to show how one injury can cause another. Regrettably for Mr. Hall, he is going to be used as an example.

While preparing for the Olympic Marathon he had a bout of plantar fasciitis, but seemed to overcome this setback in time for the race. However he soon encountered a problem with his right hamstring, which he blames on altering his stride to compensate for his injured plantar fascia. The hamstring pain forced him to drop out of the Olympic Marathon at mile 10. After taking a bit of time off, he resumed training. It seems both the plantar fasciitis and hamstring injuries were behind him. However soon he found himself getting a MRI due to an injured left quad.

The point of all of this is that a single injury can potentially cause a series of many others. Ryan blames both the hamstring and quad injuries on altering his stride mechanics to compensate for another pain.

“I just need to get my normal stride back,” Ryan says. “The plantar fasciitis caused compensation. I was running differently and tweaked my right hamstring. I was running differently and tweaked by left quad.

This can happen to anyone. Even something as simple as a blister under your big toe could cause you to land on a more lateral part of your foot, completely changing your entire run gait, from your big toe to the top of your head, the kinetic chain is modified. Now you are stressing your body in new way, and doing so very suddenly. A new and sudden repetitive stress that the body is not adapted for is a very common cause of injury.

You may also like:
Is Static Stretching the Best for Flexibility?
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Secrets of Uninjured Runners

Have you had an injury due to this type of compensation?

Be mindful of how your body is moving and feeling, and remember to #runreal

Thanks to for the photo