Running injuries are seldom the result of an acute or sudden event. Instead, they are usually the result of cumulative micro-trauma also known as repetitive overuse injuries.

According to Runner’s World, sixty-five percent of all runners experience a running injury in a given year. Common running injuries that may require the attention of a physical therapist include:

  • Calf (Gastrocnemius/Soleus) Strains
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Hip Bursitis
  • Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome
  • Patellofemoral Pain (Kneecap Problems)
  • Shin Splints
  • Hamstrings Strains
  • Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis

A Thorough Physical Therapy Evaluation is Where Treatment Begins

Runners can suffer from a variety of injuries and there are numerous reasons why a runner might be experiencing pain. The first thing your physical therapist will do is perform an evaluation. This consists of the following:

  • Your past medical history
  • Your current complaints
  • What makes the problem better and worse
  • Any past or present treatment

Then a thorough physical exam is performed including:

  • Strength
  • Endurance
  • Flexibility
  • Foot, knee, hip, pelvis mechanics
  • Observation and analysis of your running style (gait analysis)
  • Examination of your footwear and any orthoses if used

How a Physical Therapist can Help

Physical therapists can help runners recover from injuries as well as decrease the chance that they will return. Improving the following can help:

  • Running Technique
  • Thigh and Calf Strength
  • Hip/Core Stability
  • Quadriceps, Hamstrings and Calf Flexibility
  • Foot Mechanics (decreasing excess pronation)
  • Shock Absorption
  • Training Strategies (frequency, training time, distance, environment)

Conservative care for running injuries is important. Runners that push through pain can cause long-lasting injuries that may limit training and performance. Seeing a physical therapist that is training in the evaluation and treatment of running injuries can help.

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