How Do Runners Get Hurt?
Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just getting started, injuries are a part of the sport. The yearly of running injuries can range anywhere between 37-56%, ranging from minor niggles to major injury. When it comes to running the vast majority of injuries are related to overuse. These types of injuries tend to present more subtly than other types and occur over a longer period of time due to repeated micro trauma to joints, bones, or tendons.
Thankfully, a competent physical therapist can not only help to address the cause of these injuries, but also help you fully heal and recover from them.
Did you know that almost half of all running injuries involve the knee in some way or another?
Runner’s knee, more commonly known as patellofemoral syndrome, is caused by the irritation of the cartilage lying underneath your kneecap. Some of the major risk factors with Runner’s Knee are overpronation (inward movement of the arch/ankle), weak quadriceps, hips, and glutes. A shift to a running form with a shorter stride which allows you to land on a slightly bent knee can do wonders to help decrease the load on your knee and any associated issues.
The Achilles tendon is the major connection between your calf and heel. Tendinitis occurs when a tendon becomes tight and as a result, overly sensitive. Pain will typically be felt in the calf or behind the heel bone and is commonly described as an incessant, dull ache. Risk factors for Achilles tendinitis include poorly fitting running shoes, sudden increases in training volume/intensity, and weak or tight calves.
Shin splints are often found in athletes performing large workloads on a flat surface with no incline (like a treadmill!). The discomfort around the front of the shin bone is very apparent and can range from a dull ache to much worse depending on irritation levels. This pain is the result of small tears in the muscles that surround the shin bone. Risk factors for shin splints include poorly fitting running shoes, sudden increases in training volume/intensity, and flat feet or high arches.
This is one of the most common foot complaints amongst runners. The pain associated with plantar fasciitis is generally a dull ache in the arch or the bottom of the foot. Often times, this pain is particularly bad first thing in the morning. Risk factors for plantar fasciitis include tight hip flexors, weak core musculature, history of lower back pain, very high or very low arches, and excess pronation or supination.
A competent physical therapist can not only address these risk factors, but help you perfect your running form and teach you how to become a more efficient runner – reducing your likelihood of future injury! If any of the above sound like an ailment you’ve been suffering from, don’t hesitate to swing by True Sports Physical Therapy and we’ll get you sorted out with some of the best physical therapists anywhere in Maryland.