Common Treadmill Injuries & How To Avoid Them (Read Before Run)

A treadmill is great for cardio exercising, especially for people who cannot get outside to walk or run easily. Running on a treadmill is not the same as running on the road, and people can injure themselves if they don’t understand the differences. 

Treadmill causes the most injuries, and sends the most people to the hospital every year. According to a report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, from 2012-2014 there were an average of 24,300 treadmill injuries per year.

Here are the most common treadmill injuries that you can experience as well as a number of tips that will help you to stay safe when using this machine. 

Let’s start-

We have listed some of the most common treadmill injuries below, as well as some safety precautions to help you stay safe while using treadmill:

Foot Injuries

Foot injury is one of the most common treadmill injuries that you can experience as a result of walking or running on a treadmill.

The majority of treadmill-related foot injuries are caused due to overuse of the foot muscles, improper running form or improper footwear.

You may experience following common foot injuries due of use of treadmill-

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot injury among treadmill users, particularly runners.

It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).

Plantar fasciitis  commonly causes stabbing pain when you take your first steps in the morning. The pain is usually worse after exercise, not during it. The discomfort usually goes away as you get up and move around, but it may come back after long periods of standing or when you stand up after sitting. 

Treadmill users who wear shoes with inadequate support have an increased risk of plantar fasciitis.

Intermetatarsal Neuroma

Intermetatarsal neuroma, more commonly known as Morton’s neuroma, is a thickening of the tissue between the third and fourth toes.

People who wear shoes that have a tapered toe box or high-heeled shoes that cause the toes to be forced into the toe box are more likely to experience this.

People with certain foot deformities—bunions, hammertoes, flatfeet or more flexible feet have increased chance of developing a neuroma. Other potential causes are activities that involve repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, such as running. It can also be caused by an injury or other sort of damage to the area.

Treatment can range from as simple as wearing different shoes to as serious as surgery.

Achilles Tendonitis

This happens when the tendon that links the calf to the heel becomes inflamed.

The inclination is one of the most prominent causes of this painful disease. On the slope, calf muscles becomes squeezed. The situation becomes worsen if users don’t warm up adequately before using the treadmill.

It could also be the result of not wearing good, supportive shoes & not following proper form.

How to Avoid Foot Injuries on a Treadmill

If you go through the provided information above, you can see many foot injuries are caused due to-

  • Starting workout without warm up
  • Running too much
  • Choosing wrong inclination
  • Not wearing good, supportive, correct shoes
  • Not following proper form
Before starting workout on a treadmill, you must first warm up correctly to ensure that your body is ready.

Don’t do more than you’re capable of. Don’t suddenly jump to the eighth incline level if you generally run on the second.

Gradually increase your speed and incline so that your body time to adjust.

Make sure you select the appropriate shoes. Running shoes that fit your foot type should be worn.

The four foot types are normal arch, low arch, high arch, and flat foot.

common treadmill injuries
  • Stability shoes are great for people with normal arches
  • Motion control shoes are for people with low arches and flat footed
  • Cushioning shoes are suitable for people with high arches

Your feet and ankles will be supported in the right shoes, making it easier to run with proper form.

Throw away your worn-out shoes and replace them with new ones.

Knee Injuries

Common treadmill injuries & how to avoid them
Treadmill Knee Injury Pictures

It is also very common to experience knee pain when you are using a treadmill, even if the belt is not as hard as an outdoor surface and absorbs much of the impact.

The fact is that many outdoor runners will experience knee pain at some point, and a treadmill doesn’t really solve that problem.

When you run on an incline, with poor posture, or with an abnormal stride pattern on a treadmill, you are increasing your chances of getting knee problems.

How to Avoid Knee Injuries on a Treadmill

The easiest approach to avoid treadmill knee injuries is to avoid overworking yourself and to maintain proper form.

Stop running if you feel any pain until you’ve discovered it and taken care of it.

Don’t hyperextend your knees or roll your feet in too much.

Keep your head up and your back straight.

If you can, use a treadmill that has cushioning technology that will minimize the impact to your knees as you run.

Hip Injuries

If you run on a treadmill on a regular basis, you may notice pain in your hips. This is because running (or walking) on an incline places stress on your hips, causing pain and discomfort over time.

When using a treadmill, you may potentially acquire a hip injury if you are not using an unnatural stride pattern  and overextend your legs too much.

Hip pain will not happen right away, but if you regularly walk or run on an incline, you could contract severe hip pain. Doing this may even cause a long-term hip injury. This goes for those who run on treadmill or outside.


Bursitis is a painful condition affecting the bursae, which are small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles around your joints. Bursitis is a condition in which the bursae become inflamed.

People who run on treadmills often for long periods are at a higher risk of developing bursitis.

Acute bursitis usually flares over hours or days. Chronic bursitis can last from a few days to several weeks. Chronic bursitis can go away and come back again. Acute bursitis can become chronic if it comes back or if a hip injury occurs.

Although you may have to limit your activities for a while, treatment is usually not too harsh.

Medication and physical treatment may be prescribed by your doctor. Surgery for bursitis is uncommon, but it is available if necessary.

Medication and physical treatment may be prescribed by your doctor. Surgery for bursitis is uncommon, but it is available if necessary.

Hip Labral Tear

A hip labral tear is an injury to the labrum, the soft tissue that covers the acetabulum (socket) of the hip.

People who use treadmills are at a higher risk of getting a tear in their hip labrum.

This is because doing repetitive motions, such as constantly running on a treadmill for long periods of time, can lead to a tear.

Symptoms include pain in the hip or stiffness.

A hip labral tear can be treated nonsurgically, or with surgery in severe cases. Treatment is usually not too rough, although you may have to limit your activities for a little while.

Hip Flexor Strains

Hip flexors are a group of muscles. Hip flexor strain occurs when you use your hip flexor muscles and tendons too much. As a result, the muscles and tendons become inflamed, sore, and painful.

Hip flexor strains are categorized into three grades.

The majority of these injuries are classified as grade two. This suggests that numerous fibers have been damaged and hip flexor function has been compromised.

The good news is that hip flexor problems are simple to treat. All you need to do now is get some rest and take some over-the-counter pain relievers.

In severe circumstances, though, you may need to consult a doctor. It’s uncommon for this illness to necessitate surgery.

How to Avoid Hip Injuries on a Treadmill

Running in an uncomfortable position can cause hip pain and tears over time. The same can be true for overworking yourself.

Overuse is the leading cause of hip problems. You must give yourself sufficient time to recover. Even the world’s finest runners need time to recover. 

When it comes to your hips, form is also crucial. A faulty running form can affects more than your thinking.

It’s fine to push yourself, but don’t push yourself any further than your body can tolerate. To get a good workout, you don’t have to be on the highest incline level.

Falls/Falling off Treadmill Injuries

Falling on a treadmill causes a lot of injuries. In fact, over 70% of treadmill injuries are due to falls.

Many people don’t realize they’re not running on a solid ground. The treadmill does not cease running just because you stop running.

The majority of falling off treadmill injuries are caused by simple errors such as missing a step, attempting to board the running belt while it is in motion, or exceeding the speed restriction.

There are lots of funny videos on the internet that show people falling off the treadmill, but in some cases it can result in a lot of pain, broken bones or even death. The recent tragic death of Silicon Valley executive Dave Goldberg after falling off a treadmill and hitting his head has focused new attention on the risks of the hugely popular exercise machines.

Head trauma is common since, you may easily fall and hit your head if you lose focus for a brief period of time. When most people fall, their face or head tends to hit the running belt.

Many people don’t provide adequate clearance space behind the treadmill,  causing it to collide with wall or furniture.
For commercial gyms, ASTM International requires at least ft. of clearance area behind treadmill. This is a good norm to follow for treadmills at home.

How to Avoid Falling Off Treadmill Injuries

There is a chance of accident if you missed a step since it is very difficult to manage on a treadmill.

There are some stupid decisions for example, try to perform fancy dance (see you tube video above) on treadmills that people make on treadmills that you should avoid at all costs.

Don’t go faster on a treadmill than you’re comfortable with. Use the emergency stop clip to stops the treadmill if you fall backwards. It will reducing the risk of injury.

Never try to get on a running treadmill.

Simply use the treadmill in a safe manner.

Heart Problems

Common treadmill injuries & how to avoid them

There is a chance of developing heart problems if you exercise at a high intensity and push yourself  past the point of your capability.

Many people complain of chest pain after they do a cardio routine. The majority of people do not pay attention to their own bodies. Chest pain indicates that the heart is overworked and needs to rest.

The treadmill should be used carefully by people over the age of 50 since it increases the risk of heart attack.

Final Words

Some of the most common treadmill injuries occur because runners forget the basics of using a treadmill. It would be best to take some of the same safety precautions when you run indoors on a treadmill.

You may take training from a physical therapist if you’re new to the equipment. You should also dress appropriately, progress slowly, and focus on the correct form. As always, talk to your physician immediately if you experience  treadmill injuries.

You may exercise safely and improve your quality of life by following all of the advice in this article.


How Common Are Treadmill Injuries?

Treadmill is an exercise machine in the gym that causes the most injuries, and sends the most people to the hospital every year. Fatal injuries from treadmills are rare but other injuries — such as ankle sprains or skinned knees — are more common. 

According to a report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, from 2012-2014 there were an average of 24,300 treadmill injuries per year.

For the 10-year period ending in 2012, the commission reported 30 deaths, for an average of three deaths per year. 

The recent tragic death of Silicon Valley executive Dave Goldberg after falling off a treadmill and hitting his head has focused new attention on the risks of the hugely popular exercise machines.

Should I Walk on Treadmill With Lower Back Pain?

Walking on a treadmill isn’t as awful for your back as you might think. Treadmill walking, in fact, could be the ideal workout for relieving existing back pain and preventing new injuries.

Can Senior Citizens Safely Exercise on Treadmills?

Many seniors can safely exercise on treadmills if they are used correctly. To make the experience safer, you may require a specialized exercise regimen, supervision, and practice with the equipment.

Walking on a treadmill also has the following advantages for the elderly:

  • It can help you boost your cardiac capacities by improving lung capacity and blood oxygen saturation.
  • Treadmills can be used as part of a physical rehab program following surgery or injury.
  • If you have Parkinson’s disease or are recovering from a stroke, you can use a treadmill for gait training.
  • Leg muscles can be developed.
  • You can lose weight through burning calories.
  • Your abdominal muscles can be strengthened.

What Types of Injuries Do the Elderly Get While Using a Treadmill?

Treadmills are more likely than other mechanical workout equipment to cause accidents. People in their senior years are more likely to sustain sprains or strains as a result of falling or misusing the treadmill. Seniors are also more likely than younger people to sustain serious injuries that require hospitalization.

Treadmill use is more prone to cause injury to the lower limbs (from the hips to the toes) in seniors. People over the age of 65 are also prone to trunk injuries. Unfortunately, utilizing a treadmill has resulted in an increase in head injuries.

The most prevalent sorts of injuries in seniors who use treadmills are various sprains and strains from falls. The impact on the lower body, particularly the hips, knees, and ankles, can cause long-term injury to senior people.

How Can Prevent Dehydration & Painful Muscle Cramping?

Runners commonly suffer from dehydration. Whether you are on a treadmill or an open track, drinking water and allowing yourself time to transition from a run to a walk to stopping will help your body properly cool down. The benefit of running on a treadmill is that it’s easy to have water at your side when you need it.

Runners should eat enough protein to compensate for the muscular damage that occurs after each run. A lack of protein in a runner’s diet will result in painful cramps during and after the run. 

If you run on a treadmill, you aren’t exempt from cramps, so make sure you eat lots of healthy meals like proteins. So keep in mind-

  • Always have plenty of water on hand
  • Make sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet

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