Running – one of the most injury-ridden sporting events since its boom in the 70s! It is both a boon as well as a hazard to any health enthusiast.
Running is a sport of passion; why else would we torture our bodies with miles of punishment every day? Running injuries are an unfortunate, but all too common, occurrence. Understanding a running injury is the key to effective treatment. Here you will find resources that explain common problems, and offer information about types of treatment for a running injury.
Hip & Thigh Injuries
- Hip Bursitis
Inflammation of the bursa over the outside of the hip joint, so-called trochanteric bursitis, can cause pain with hip movement. Treatment of hip bursitis is often effective, but the condition has a problem of coming back and sometimes becoming a persistent problem.
- Snapping Hip Syndrome
Snapping hip syndrome is a word used to describe three distinct hip problems. The first is when the IT band snaps over the outside of the thigh. The second occurs when the deep hip flexor snaps over the front of the hip joint. Finally, tears of the cartilage, or labrum, around the hip socket can cause a snapping sensation.
- Iliotibial Band Syndrome
The iliotibial band is a thick, fibrous band that spans from the hip to the shin; it lends stability to the knee joint, and is attached to muscles of the thigh. ITBS is caused when the band becomes inflamed and tender.
- Pulled Hamstring
A pulled hamstring is a common sports injury, seen most commonly in sprinters. A pulled hamstring is a injury to the muscle called a hamstring strain. Treatment of a pulled hamstring is important for a speedy recovery.
- Hip Stress Fractures
Stress fractures of the hip are most common in athletes who participate in high-impact sports, such as long distance runners. Treatment usually is successful by avoiding the impact activities.
- Patellofemoral Syndrome
Also called “Runner’s Knee,” problems associated with the patella, or kneecap, are common in runners. The term runner’s knee may refer to several common injuries such as chondromalacia, patellar tendonitis, or generalized knee pain.
- Dislocating Kneecap
- A dislocating kneecap causes acute symptoms during the dislocation, but can also lead to chronic knee pain. Patients who have a dislocating kneecap may improve with some specific physical therapy strengthening exercises.
- Plica Syndrome
Plica syndrome occurs when there is irritation of the lining of the knee joint. Part of the lining of the knee joint is more prominent in some individuals, and can form a so-called plica shelf. If this tissue becomes inflamed, it can cause knee pain.
- Shin Splints
Shin splints, like runner’s knee, is a term that describes a set of symptoms, not an actual diagnosis. Shin splint pain can be due to problems with the muscles, bone, or the attachment of the muscle to the bone.
- Stress Fractures
Stress fractures of the hip are usually seen in long distance runners, and much more commonly in women than in men. These injuries are usually seen in endurance athletes with deficient nutrition or eating disorders.
- Exercise Induced Compartment Syndrome
Exercise induced compartment syndrome is a condition that causes pain over the front of the leg with activity. Patients with exercise induced compartment syndrome may require surgery, call a fasciotomy, to relieve their symptoms.
- Ankle Sprain
Ankle sprains are common injuries that runners experience. Early recognition and treatment of this problem will help speed your recovery from ankle ligament injuries.
- Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles tendonitis is a painful condition of the tendon in the back of the ankle. Left untreated, Achilles tendonitis can lead to an increased risk of Achilles tendon rupture.
- Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a syndrome of heel pain due to inflammation of the thick ligament of the base of the foot. A tight, inflamed plantar fascia can cause pain when walking or running, and lead to the formation of a heel spur.
Pronation is a normal movement of the foot through the gait cycle. When this motion becomes excessive, overpronation can cause a variety by altering the normal mechanics of the gait cycle. Shoes to control excess foot motion can be helpful for overpronators.
- Arch Pain
Arch pain is a common foot complaint. Arch pain, also sometimes called a strain, often causes inflammation and a burning sensation under the arch of the foot. Treatment of arch pain often consists of adaptive footwear and inserts.
We at Pain Solutions & Physical Therapy, Inc. are dedicated to helping you recover from existing running related injuries, as well as helping to prevent future such maladies from occurring.
Treatment services include:
Gait Analysis is a term used for the study of human motion through observation. It is concentrated on the measurement of the body’s movements, mechanics and muscle activity. In the health care industry, Gait and Biomechanics Analysis can be very useful in the assessment of mobility problems, especially if the individual’s ability to walk is severely compromised. It is also used by physical therapists that specialize in treating sports injuries or when being consulted by athletes whose goal is to improve their over-all performance in competition.
With Gait/Biomechanics Analysis, a therapist can more accurately pinpoint problems with posture and movement. Corrective actions can be taken thereby increasing the chances of improving the athlete’s performance.
At a Runners Clinic, therapists use Gait/Biomechanics Analysis to determine abnormalities. Identifying abnormalities, especially at an early stage, gives the runner a better chance of taking successful corrective action. Treatment plans can also be formed through Gait/Biomechanics Analysis with specific design factors that address energy conservation, proper posture, aerodynamics and improving speed.
Lumbar Spine Pain
Many runners experience Lumbar Spine Pain. This condition is characterized by lower back pain starting at about half a foot below the shoulder blades, connecting to the thoracic spine and extending downward to the sacral spine.
Pain and muscular stresses are focused on the lumbar spine and could lead to joint instability. Causes can range from Muscular Problems, Degenerative Discs, and Herniated Discs, to SI Dysfunctions, Osteoarthritis, and Lumbar Stenosis.
This condition can be detrimental to runners and may cause them limited mobility. If pain persists and is left untreated or is improperly treated, the runner’s flexibility could also be compromised, which may affect joints as much as it imits the runner’s movement due to pain.
Bodily posture may be more important than you think. Medically defined, posture is referred to as the position of the parts of our musculoskeletal system when conducting activities and during relaxation. Posture affects the efficiency of physical function. For runners, posture is a factor greatly affecting their performance during training and during competition.
At the Runner’s Clinic, we address postural dysfunctions through therapeutic approaches. Areas of treatment include joints, ligaments, muscles and nerves.
Being unaware of postural dysfunctions can lead to the formation of irreversible habits. Individuals who are accustomed to improper posture will then consider it normal to not stand upright or sit properly. Unconsciously, improper posture becomes the standard – but this may lead to inefficient bodily functioning. While runners may have their own postural norms, there are standards that the runner’s clinic can apply during training and therapy to help runners establish postural habits that will ultimately help them improve their athletic performance
Runners rely on their body, especially their feet. Proper foot care is essential to a runner’s performance. However, with extensive training and competition, runners may become susceptible to plantar fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis is referred to as a painful inflammation in the plantar fascia – the tissue connecting the sole of the foot to the other bones in the lower foot area. This inflammation, if not treated, could lead to degenerative changes.
An indication of this condition involves pain on the underside of the heel, more specifically characterized by painful first steps taken after relaxation or during the start of the day. Another indication is difficulty in bending the feet and reduced flexibility. Other related symptoms involve knee pains, thus reducing the runner’s performance even further.
There are several options to treat plantar fasciitis. These include relaxing the foot, having a massage, stretching exercises, diet adjustments, splinting or a change in running gear. For a more thorough plan of care to be developed, it is best to consult a therapist from the runner’s clinic as soon as symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis are experienced.
Runner’s Knee is a medical condition that is characterized by pain around the knee, particularly at the front. A runner’s activities involve a great deal of use of the knees, thus resulting in much knee pain. A specific description of Runner’s Knee is a dull, aching pain below, at the back and in front of the patella or knee cap. This makes simple motor functions such as walking up and down the stairs, kneeling down, squatting, bending down, sitting down and getting up, very difficult.
The best way to avoid Runner’s Knee is to stay in shape and maintain a regular exercise regimen. It is also helpful to do stretching exercises before engaging in strenuous leg activities. If you are just beginning a running or other athletic program, it is best to gradually progress in your training and seek the advice and guidance of a runner’s clinic therapist. Investing in quality running shoes and gear are also ways to help prevent Runner’s Knee.
Fractures may be caused by a variety of factors. One type of fracture, a Stress Fracture, is characterized by an incomplete fracture in the bones. This is caused by particularly repetitive stress or excessive exercise.
Stress Fractures are common in sports, and involve a small crack in the bones. Runners are especially prone to such conditions. X-rays do not normally show stress fractures which means that a CT scan or an MRI is required to make it viewable. While the crack may be minimal, the pain may be severe.
Treatment for Stress Fractures is largely dependent on rest. The length of time for recovery as well as other supplemental treatment services may vary based on the location of the stress fracture, the severity of the fracture and the athlete’s healing ability.
Shin Splints are also referred to as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS). This is indicated by pain along the shin area or at the back of the shin. Athletes such as runners, basketball players, tennis players, cyclists, soccer players, football players and gymnasts are prone to this condition. Their athletic activities largely involve leg mobility and thus sensitive to shin splints.
This condition is likely to be caused by over-stressing muscles at the lower extremities. For Shin Splints to heal, it is important for the athlete to heed the physician’s or therapist’s advice about a relaxation schedule. Although cold therapy and anti-inflammatory medication can help, resting the affected leg area is still the best way to recover from Shin Splints.
Achilles Tendon Injury
Achilles may have been known in Greek mythology as a character with heroic agility, strength and speed. However, despite his many athletic proficiencies, he had a weakness – his heel. Thus, today, a condition known as Achilles’ Tendon bears his name.
The Achilles’ Tendon is also referred to as calcaneal tendon or tendon calcaneus. It is the part of the leg that attaches the plantaris, calf and sole to the heel. When injury takes places at this particular part of the foot, it may render the individual immobile.
Treatment services range from orthotics to anti-inflammatory medication and physiotherapy. We strongly encourage runners to consult with a therapist from our Runner’s Clinic to get a prompt, thorough evaluation. Like all other conditions, Achilles’ Tendon is best treated at its early stage, before progressing to further complications.
Hip Pain and Sciatic
Treatment for Hip and Sciatic Pain depends on the root cause. Before beginning treatment, your physician or therapist will subject you to a thorough physical examination – in case your hip pain may be caused by other underlying conditions.
Hip Pain may be treatable with various approaches such as a strict relaxation schedule, hot and cold therapy, physical therapy, pain management, pain medication and exercises that promote flexibility. In some cases, the therapist recommends the individual follow a stretching routine to help with the healing of muscles and tendons
Through our scientific processes, we match you up with programs and training suitable to your athletic needs, as well as your schedule.