Running is a great way to achieve whole body workout. Aside from a good pair of running shoes, there is no expensive financial investment. When it comes to “hitting the pavement” your body is the machine needed to get the job done! This is why it’s so important to take care of yourself before and after a run to avoid running injuries.
When starting out a running program you should set goals and then plan your strategy. Start small and work your way up. Listen to your body! A little bit is better than nothing and every day the process will get easier.
Unfortunately, running injuries are very common. With good stretching practices, you can prevent some injuries. Our DSANDA sports physiotherapist, Nicole Gleason, PT, MScPT, BHSc, CSCS discusses some of the most common injuries she sees in the clinic along with symptoms and treatments. If any of these symptoms are familiar you may want to seek Physical Therapy sooner than later.
The medical term for this injury is actually “Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome” but the average person wouldn’t remember that description! It’s fondly referred to as Runner’s Knee because it is commonly caused by a certain way of walking or running. Symptoms are also mostly in the kneecap and include dull pain, a grinding or clicking sound when you bend your knee, or a sore tender feeling when you touch the knee.
Treatments can include looking at the structural anatomy of your knee to see if you have weak thigh muscles, tight hamstrings, tight ankles (tendons), or poor foot support (if your feet roll when you run or walk you may need more supportive runners). A physiotherapist can take a look at your muscles and ligaments and offer strengthening programs or stretching protocols where needed. They can also examine your gait when you walk/run to see where additional support may be required.
Your iliotibial band is a long piece of connective tissue that runs along the outside of your leg. It allows you to abduct and extend your leg and rotate your hip. The injury seems to be more common in runners or cyclists. Repetitive movement can cause the IT Band to become tight, irritated, or inflamed and symptoms include pain on the outside of the knee or radiating pain into the hip. Excessive sitting and poor posture during sedentary work can also cause IT Band symptoms.
Treatments can include proper training warm-up education, stretching programs, and assessment of hips, gluteus, and abdominal muscles.
This is an extremely common running injury to your foot. There is a band of tissue (fascia) that runs along the bottom of your foot connecting your heel bone to your toes. When the tissue gets inflamed, from repeated stretching or tearing of the fascia it causes painful symptoms. The main symptom is a stabbing pain near your heel when you wake up in the morning. This pain can increase when you first stand up after prolonged periods of sitting or right after you run (exercise).
Treatments can include an assessment by a physiotherapist to look at foot mechanics, lifestyle factors such as weight or occupations that keep you on your feet, and an examination of styles of exercise that might be more suited for your condition.
The term “shin splints” refers to pain you feel along the front of your shin bone between your knee and ankle. This type of injury is more common in sports that require intense bouts of running and stopping like soccer or tennis. When muscles swell it causes increased pressure on the shin bone leading to inflammation. Repetitive stress from running increases daily injury to that area of the body.
Treatments include examining exercise techniques and correcting any errors, increasing flexibility, improving strength in the thighs and gluteus, ensuring proper footwear, and treating the foot for any anatomical issues.
Your hamstrings are comprised of three muscles at the back of your upper leg. When you strain or pull these muscles it can result in symptoms of a sharp sudden pain in your thigh or a tearing sensation. This is followed by inflammation and soreness along with the decreased ability to bear weight on the injured leg. High impact sports like football, soccer, or running with a lot of stop and start are a greater risk for this injury.
Treatments include assessing and treating muscle imbalances and lack of flexibility. This type of injury is preventable by seeking a regular exercise and stretching program to target the muscles the prevent injury.
Seek Treatment Right Away!
Did you know that getting treatment at the onset of injury actually reduces the amount of recovery time? Getting your body the right treatment can get you back into your running shoes and meet your health goals in no time. You can also prevent injury by seeing a physiotherapist as you start a new exercise regime to make sure you aren’t using improper form or straining any ligaments or muscles.
If you are starting a new running program or feel like you need assistance with an injury our physiotherapists are ready to help you achieve optimal health. Contact our clinic today at 905-639-7113 to BOOK ONLINE for your in-clinic or virtual appointment.