Do you enjoy running? If so, you already know that running is a great way to stay fit while also improving your health. Unfortunately, just like with any physical activity, there are many kinds of injuries associated with running. We’ve listed out the four most common running injuries, as well as the best ways to treat them with physical therapy!
According to a wellness article in U.S. News, physical therapy may be a better option for treating running-related injuries than seeing a chiropractor or opting for surgery. If you’ve recently received an injury while running and you’re looking for safe, effective, and natural ways to manage or eliminate your pain, contact our physical therapy office today. We’re ready to help get you back on your feet!
The Top 4 Most Common Running Injuries
1. PPS, or “Runner’s Knee”
The technical term for Runner’s Knee is patellofemoral pain syndrome, or PPS. This condition generally refers to the breakdown of cartilage under the kneecap. According to Runner’s World, approximately 40 percent of injuries sustained by runners are in the knee. Although it is likely a runner’s knee will often improve and heal on its own, sometimes physical therapy is needed to help someone with the condition. A physical therapist will be able to work with you to strengthen your upper leg and thigh muscles. He or she can teach you multiple exercises that you can do at home as well!
2. Shin Splints
Shin splints are an extremely common condition that nearly every runner has experienced at least once before. It involves painful inflammation in the tendons and muscles of the lower leg. Web MD states that shin splints are more likely to occur after you change your workout routine. Cutting down on the amount that you’re running, using over-the-counter pain relievers, and icing the affected area are all recommended treatments for shin splints.
Physical therapy can also help. Your physical therapist can show you strengthening exercises, stretches, and how to retrain muscles. He or she might also recommend using the RICE method from time to time at home (rest, ice, compression, elevation).
3. Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles Tendonitis is an injury that occurs in the heel of your feet, and according to ChoosePT, it is responsible for about 11% of all runners’ injuries. It often results in pain and swelling and can make it hard to walk or stand. This condition can be brought on by running in old or poor quality shoes. Your physical therapist may suggest icing, and elevating the foot to reduce the swelling, as well as switching to shoe inserts for better support. Developing strong calf muscles will help to prevent relapses as well.
4. Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is one condition that not only affects runners. It can happen to almost anyone who walks a lot or stands on their feet for extensive periods, for example, a waitress who works long shifts in a restaurant. With this injury, pain radiates throughout the arch and heel. Plantar fasciitis can often be treated as a better quality pair of shoes and staying off your feet for a while. Orthopedic shoe inserts may also help.
What Should I Expect at a Physical Therapy Appointment?
Developing and maintaining a proper running form, investing in good shoes with ample support, and adding strength training to your exercise routine can often be the key to preventing many types of running injuries. Once injuries have occurred though, you may benefit from seeing a physical therapist a few times a week.
At your initial appointment with a physical therapist, he or she will assess your condition and overall physical abilities. They will also look at the area causing you pain to find any underlying factors that could be contributing to the problem. You may be asked a series of questions about your medical history as well. Your physical therapist will create a customized treatment plan for you, including targeted stretches and exercises to relieve pain and prevent future re-injuries.
He or she might also suggest rest and staying off your feet for a time, depending on your condition and diagnosis. Everyone’s treatment plan is different, and it’s important to remember that no size fits all, so what doesn’t work for someone else may work for you.
Contact Our Office Today
There is no reason to continue living in pain because of a running injury. We don’t want you to have to give up doing something you love, especially if physical therapy can offer a long-term solution to your pain! Contact our office today to learn more and set up your first appointment with one of our therapists.