The warm weather is here, that means it is time to put on your running shoes and return to the outdoors for your work-outs.
ProEx Physical Therapy would like to offer you information on the most common injuries sustained while running, and provide some general running tips.
Understanding Common Running Injuries:
Heel and Foot Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)
- The plantar fascia is a ligament like connective tissue that is located on the underside of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia which can present as mild to severe pain in the bottom of the heel or foot. This usually occurs with either or a combination of over training, poor shoe stability or hyperpronation (excessive foot flattening when weight bearing on them). Common treatment for plantar fasciitis is stretching of the structures surrounding the foot and heel, modification of activity and shoe wear, and ice.
Bone Pain (Stress Fractures)
- A stress fracture can be classified as a hairline or complete break of the bone. This injury can be extremely painful, and will be exacerbated by impact activities. Typically in runners, stress fractures are seen in the lower leg bone (tibia) or the long bones of the foot (metatarsals). Appropriate treatment for a stress fracture is discontinuation of running activities and possible immobilization to let the bone heal.
Shin Splints (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome)
- Inflammation and pain around the muscles and tendons on the inside of the shin bone (tibia) can be classified as medial tibial stress syndrome. Hyperpronation is also a common cause of this type of injury. Running activities should be modified, ice can be applied to the injured area, and a supportive arch can be placed in the footwear.
Achilles and Patella Tendonitis
- Two typical areas for tendonitis to occur are in the patella tendon (right blow your knee cap) and Achilles tendon (back of heel). Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon, which can become a chronic condition if not treated correctly. Pain and tenderness will be present in the affected tendon. Treatment should include modifying activity, stretching and applying ice to the injured area.
Managing Running Related injuries:
When in Doubt, Seek Medical Advice
Your Physician and local Physical Therapist can provide a thorough evaluation of your running injuries. If you are unsure of your aches and pains, we encourage you to seek out an appointment with a professional who can give you an appropriate diagnosis, and course of treatment. To learn more on how to manage an acute injury click here Acute Injury Management
Running Shoes: The Right Pair is Critical
With so many options for running shoes, it can be difficult to find the perfect pair. The most important items to consider when choosing sneakers are function and comfort. When a running sneaker has reached 500-600 miles of use, consider replacements. Most running shoe stores have employees that can be a good resource for you if they are knowledgeable on matching shoe models for different foot types. Just ask for help!
Pick the Right Running Surfaces
The perfect surface to run on should be flat, soft and safe. You may be able to find a path in your community specifically designed for running. Check out your local high school, many schools now have new “runner friendly” tracks. It is necessary to use caution when running hills as the impact will cause increase stress to your joints. If possible, avoid running on concrete and uneven surfaces.
Sports Medicine Approach to getting You Back to Running
After sustaining an injury, Physical Therapy is an option to aid in healing your injuries and return you back to running in a timely manner. Working with Sports Medicine professionals such as physical therapists, athletic trainers, and strength and conditioning specialists will assist you in resuming your desired level of running activity. Learn more about the Sports Medicine approach Sports Medicine