Perhaps the most participated activity in the UK. Running is a single leg loading activity that requires efficient hip and limb stability on stance phase to propel the body forward, as well as sufficient gluteal, calf and hamstring power. Any imbalances in these areas can lead to injury and the need of running physiotherapy.
Many of the injuries we see are from repetitive use. This does not mean just because we do an action repeatedly, but do so in a less than efficient way in most cases. If the required control and stability is not present then this will lead to torsional strains as well as impact related injuries.
Testimonials: Alastair Cambell, John Tierney, Lee Rankin, Tom Mortimer, Vicky Price and Zoe Wassell, elite runners and 5 Valleys Physio Ambassadors, take full advantage of the running physiotherapy we offer. The Cotswold Allrunners and The Stroud & District Athletics club are also affiliate clubs that enjoy our expertise in running physiotherapy, read more about the Cotswold Allrunners here and the Stroud & District Athletics Club here.
Common running injuries
90% of all lower limb injuries seen in runners are from gluteal deficiencies causing lower limb overload dysfunctions, for example, medial tibial stress syndrome, stress fractures and ilio-tibial band friction syndrome.
As physiotherapists, we have the ability to screen anyone, whether injured or not, to identify risk factors to injury or to rehabilitate an injured area. It is not just about resolving the symptoms but also educating the client on how they can avoid the same problem reoccurring. Strength and conditioning is major part of the rehabilitation, and often this is being done even when the client is pain free to ensure maximal muscle strength gains.
Common running injuries:
- Runner’s Knee
- Medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints)
- 2nd ray and navicular stress fractures
- ITB friction syndrome
- Plantarfasciitis (heel pain)
- Achilles tendonitis
Prevention of running injuries
Body maintenance is one of the best ways to avoid injury. This may start with a generic screening test (see running clinic) as well as a clinical screening test to assess joint range and function as well as tissue mobility. Once you have the results of these test to hand you can target you ‘weak links’. We all have them, however good a runner you are. Each weak link is a limit to performance and a possible cause for injury.
This is a great technique to lengthen fascia, more than muscle, and isolate those sore points with directed pressure. The type of foam roller makes a huge difference and we will discuss this more in the coming weeks.
We are doing less and less of passive stretching as active techniques are far more successful, but there is still a relevance. Passive lower limb stretches are absolutely fine to do and if time is a limit, they are perfect pre run or as part of a more gentler stretching regime
This is missing in many settings nowadays but this is what we are expert in providing. Soft tissue release and restoring joint mobility are vital for limbs to move normally. You cant drive a car with a flat tyre or dodgy suspension and your body is no different. Restoring muscle length will improve activity and power development. Having ‘maintenace’ massage work is a great way to top up and just keep the oil flowing. Don’t let things seize up. Sports massage is perfect for elevating recovery and allowing those tissues to adapt and withstand the pressure of running.
Once everything is moving normally, we now need to add the meat to the bones. Our tailored strength and conditioning service will highlight the weak links, target them, and eventually make them your strengths. This is the hard bit and only you can gain the strength. This can improve performance by up to 20% without the extra miles. It sounds easy but why don’t more us do it?……..
Treatment of running injuries
When injuries do occur they can often be painful and persistent. As well as dealing with the symptoms and pain an understanding of the causes coupled with a proper rehabilitation plan is of utmost importance. This helps to lower the risk of recurrence. Treatments can include:
- Running clinic
- Sports massage
- Strength & conditioning
- Sports injury management
- Therapeutic Ultrasound
Recent blogs on running
- Running is all in the Big Toe! – Osteopath, Adam Robertson, shares with us how running performance can be impaired with issues arising from your big toe.