Millions of Americans lace up their running shoes and hit the pavement week after week. Running is an excellent form of exercise and has been shown to lower risk of stroke & depression and increase lung function, among other health benefits. However, runners are also vulnerable to injury. No runner wants to hear they need to stop running.
If you run, or have patients who are runners, you are more at risk of injury during the four specific periods outlined below.
- New runner? You are more at risk during the first six months of running
- Recently injured? Higher risks are involved when kicking off a running program again after an injury
- Setting new distance goals? Increasing your running distance can put you at an increased risk for injury
- Looking to increase your speed? Increasing your running speed can also put you at an increased risk for injury
Throughout these stages, training errors are a common cause of running injuries. An injury can occur due to inadequate stretching, an increase in hill running, not getting proper rest between runs and a sudden change in distance or pace. Some common running injuries may include:
- Shin splints
- Plantar fasciitis
- Runner’s knee
- Ankle sprains
- Iliotibial band syndrome (IT Band Syndrome)
So, you or your patient has a running injury. How can physical therapy help?
Our physical therapists will conduct a physical evaluation and ask questions about running habits & techniques and analyze running gait. Our physical therapist will help pinpoint problems that can be corrected by changing running habits and modify the running regimen. To promote healing, reduce inflammation and prevent recurrence, our physical therapists will teach and develop pre and post workout routines that include stretches, strengthening, warm-ups and cool-downs to help the body adapt to the stress and demands of running. Treatments may include:
- Ice and heat
- Stretching and muscle strengthening
- Electrical stimulation
- Custom orthotics
- Supportive taping (such as Kinesiotaping®)
No runner wants to hear they need to stop running. But sometimes it’s necessary to heal. Fax over the prescription and schedule an appointment with one of our experienced physical therapists for an evaluation and running analysis. Learn how to use techniques to keep those feet moving and stay injury-free!