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Are you a runner who has aches and pains? Want to keep training but don’t know what to do? Here are the most common running injuries, what to do about them and what you can do to prevent them!
There are many aches and pains that can arise from running, especially if we are new to running, or are increasing our training drastically for a race. The most common injuries that we see in our clinics are: Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (pain around the kneecap), Shin splints (pain along the inside of the shin bone), Achilles tendonitis (pain in the lower leg/heel), Iliotibial band syndrome (pain on the outside of the thigh or knee), and Plantar fasciitis (pain on the bottom of the foot).
For most of these running injuries, we can break them into the acute phase (<2 weeks) and the chronic phase (>2 weeks). In the acute phase, we recommend using the R.I.C.E technique: rest, ice, compression and elevation if swelling. In our clinic we have options for the compression component that involves taping, tensors, or bracing/straps. In the chronic phase, it becomes a little more difficult to treat as we are targeting tissue healing. In our clinic we would recommend specific stretches and strengthening exercises, in addition to the R.I.C.E. technique, provide you with other pain controlling measures such as ultrasound and acupuncture, and provide relief and support using various taping techniques. We would also do an assessment to determine if there are any muscle imbalances that might be causing the injury, or make recommendations regarding footwear.
The most important thing that a runner can do to prevent injuries from arising in the first place, is strength train! There are key muscle groups that we recommend you strengthen in addition to running; these are the glutes, core muscles, hips, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves.
In our clinic we prescribe a standard set of preventative strengthening exercises such as:
Donkey kicks – on all fours, lifting bent knee so to keep foot parallel to ceiling, while maintaining a flat back
Clam shells – lying on your side with knees bent, lift top knee keeping ankles together
Stability ball bridges – with feet resting on theraball, lift buttocks and hold
Stability ball walk out – with legs on ball and hands on floor in a plank position, walk forward with hands until ball is under feet
Single leg squat
Single leg balance on forefoot
Eccentric heel drops – standing with forefeet on a step, slowly lower heels below step and raise back up on toes
If you are experiencing any of the injuries that were mentioned above due to running, and would like some help with implementing these treatments, Physiotherapy can help!
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