Common Treadmill Injuries vs Running Outside

treadmill injuries Twin Boro

Are treadmill injuries worse or more common than ones earned from running outside? As winter approaches, we tend to get this question a lot. Below, our experts unveil some of the most common treadmill injuries, how they compare to injuries from running outside and how to keep your body safe either way.

Common Treadmill Injuries

Are you at risk for treadmill injuries? You might be. For runners, avoiding injury is top priority. Not only does getting hurt cut back on how much time you get to spend working on your fitness goals, it’s also painful, frustrating and can be costly.

For many runners, it’s hard to beat the feeling of lacing up and hitting the pavement on a gorgeous day. However, with winter approaching, more runners will be logging miles on the treadmill. Hey, that’s what they’re for: those cold, rainy, snowy days.

But, just how dangerous are these machines compared to a sidewalk or running path?

In general, more than 400,000 Americans are treated in an average year for injuries related to exercise equipment. According to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, treadmills cause more accidents than any other piece of exercise equipment. In fact, they reported over 24,400 treadmill injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms in the year 2014 (the last year data was released). They listed slips and strains as the most common treadmill injuries.

Don’t let these stats scare you from staying on course.

Training on the treadmill has its benefits. It provides a controlled environment where runners can control their pace, incline settings and even program in specific interval and recovery training. Studies show that setting the treadmill to a 1% grade simulates outdoor running and reflects similar energy output. Plus, with a cushioned belt, it can be more forgiving than running on the hard pavement outside.

Treadmill Injuries vs Running Outside

treadmill injuries

Need to soak up some vitamin D and get some fresh air? We totally understand. Research shows that running outside can deliver a greater energy boost, which results in less tension, anger, and depression than running inside.

But, running outdoors doesn’t come without risk, either.

Running outside requires you to activate additional muscles, because you’re not running in a linear pattern – think about hopping over tree roots, changing pace according to traffic patterns or dodging people on the trails. Additionally, with environmental factors to consider, outside runners also need to watch out for trip or slip hazards such as wet leaves, snow and ice.

Because of that, those who run outside need to be smart about how they train. Runners benefit from adding in specific strength, mobility and flexibility exercises to supplement their training.

Whether on the treadmill or outside, we often see workout-related injuries due to two main reasons. First is poor posture throughout the day, which weakens the musculoskeletal structure. The second is attempting to do too much too fast, which is common with New Years resolutioners. In both cases, one of the most common injuries suffered by treadmill runners and outside running is Runner’s Knee.

The bottom line?

Prevention is key.

Sure, treadmill injuries are common, but any sport comes with risk. In the end, figure out what options work best for your training schedule and your body. And then, progress patiently. If you do too much, too soon, you could face injuries that will only set you back in the long run (pun intended).

Treatment for Treadmill Injuries at Twin Boro Physical Therapy

If you’re suffering from a running-related or treadmill injury, get the attention you need at Twin Boro Physical Therapy. Our professional therapists provide personalized treatment and hands-on therapy to not only help you reduce pain and recover, but also provide patient education to help you prevent future injuries.

We have 23 convenient Twin Boro Physical Therapy locations throughout New Jersey. Each location uses our proprietary One2Four advanced physical therapy technique that helps us identify an individualized path for patients. We’ll get you back on your feet and running in no time!  Read more about our One2Four approach >>

Read more on our blog:

Why Choose Twin Boro Physical Therapy

Having won a Best in NJ Readers’ Choice in Physical Therapy recognition, Twin Boro has provided NJ residents with high quality physical therapy and rehab for over 38 years! It’s our award-winning approach, proven results and reputation that sets us apart. By incorporating the One2Four program into each patient’s program, the latest and most reliable scientific research and techniques is incorporated into effective evidence-based practice, we deliver only the highest standard of care with the unique One2Four approach.

It’s no surprise that Twin Boro Physical Therapy has also been voted the best physical therapy practice in New Jersey by the readers of

We have 23 convenient locations

We love being close to our patients. Find out which of our premier facilities is nearest you!

VIew a list of all locations