Prevention of Running Injuries: Views By A Sports Physiotherapist

He has seen all three sides of the sports scene – as an athlete, a patient and now, a physiotherapist.

Gino Ng was the Singapore National Triathlon Champion in 2000 and 2001. Other accolades include winning the National Vertical Marathon 10 times from 1998 to 2010 and getting a fourth-placed finish at the 2001 Asian Duathlon Championships in Hong Kong.

Sports physiotherapist, Gino Ng.

Sports physiotherapist, Gino Ng

But during his time as an athlete, Gino required three major knee surgeries between 2002 and 2003. Later though, he made a strong comeback in the 2005 SEA games and was placed fourth in the triathlon.

Subsequently, Gino served as a physiotherapist at both the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Now running his own physiotherapy clinic, Sports Solutions, Gino is in a strong position to help others with sports injuries.

I caught up with him recently, and talked about running injuries and the prevention of this. To find out what this former national sportsman said – do read on.

Gino, what do you think is the most optimum style of running?

You should lean from your ankles, land on the whole foot and use hip flexor muscles to pick your foot up. Research suggests taking small steps – if changing your foot-strike is difficult. But note that everyone is different, and so this may not suit all runners.

Runners may all types of minor as well as major injuries from their chosen sport.

Runners may get all types of minor as well as major injuries from their chosen sport.


Why do you think many runners tend to get injured?

They are normally too impatient for results and do too much too soon. Using your legs less will help prevent injuries.

What are some of the more common types of running injuries?

These are shin pain, knee pain, Achilles tendon injuries, plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot) and metatarsal stress fractures

And how do you feel that these injuries can be prevented? 

Use the correct running technique and be patient with increasing training load

What are the treatments for the more common types of running injuries? 

Treating whatever is the cause of the problem – not just where the pain is.

Gino feels that the highly-padded running shoes aren't always beneficial.

Gino feels that the highly-padded running shoes aren’t always beneficial.

What are your comments on the high-tech padded running shoes that are popular nowadays?

These shoes are not always beneficial. For example, there has been research saying that wearing shoes with cushioned heels and pronation concentrated systems has led to the increase of Achilles tendon injuries – rather than a decrease.

It is now common for podiatrists, coaches and shoe sellers to fit shoes according to the type of foot a runner has. How do you feel about this?

Selecting shoes to match the type of feet a runner has (i.e. normal, low or high arch) and matching him or her with the corresponding shoes (i.e. stability, motor control or cushioning), may not always work. Some research has shown for example, that runners who had their arches corrected with motor control shoes actually complained of pain – which led to them missing training.

On the other hand, Gino says minimalist shoes may lead to other types of injuries.

On the other hand, Gino says minimalist shoes may lead to other types of injuries.

Other studies have found no link between the wearing of correct shoes and injuries.

What are your comments on minimalist shoes?

If running technique is correct, then they are good. For example, minimalist shoes would suit forefoot runners, but these shoes may result in pain and injury for heel strikers.

Any tips in choosing running shoes? 

Going with something that has always worked for you is safe.

If you wish to have more information, please contact Gino Ng at or     +65 9336 4946


Other Blog Posts

Click Here to find out common running injuries from an orthopaedic surgeon.

Click Here to find out about drill and strength training, from Lexxus Tan of F1 Runners Team.

Click Here for tips on running injury-free, by top Singapore runner, Mok Ying Rong.

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