Common Running Injuries Physical Therapy Helps Improve
Running is a fantastic exercise and costs very little compared to other sports a person can engage in. Unfortunately, the way humans are built makes them susceptible to injuries if they don’t run with the right shoes, use the wrong running technique, or do not warm up before a run. The following are some common running injuries and their symptoms to watch out for if you’re going to run for exercise.
This is an inflammation of the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the toes. It happens when the runner puts undue pressure on the bottom of their foot. People who don’t wear the proper footwear and people who are overweight are more at risk for plantar fasciitis.
The symptoms are pain at the bottom of the heel. It’s usually worse in the morning. The pain sometimes stops when the person exercises, but can return when they stop. The pain may also return after they’ve rested for a while.
Shin splints are pains felt in the front of the runner’s lower leg. They’re caused when the person doesn’t warm up properly before a run or if they suddenly increase the intensity of their training. The pain can also be felt when the person runs on a hard or sloped surface or if they have bad running technique. People with foot abnormalities may also suffer from shin splints. Symptoms include an ache on the inner side of the shin that gets worse when the person runs. The area may also swell.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB Syndrome)
The iliotibial band is a tendon that helps the person straighten their knee and stabilizes their leg when they run. If the person is overtraining, the tendon can become inflamed and painful. The bursa, which is a fluid-filled lubricating sac beneath the tendon can also become inflamed. Iliotibial band syndrome can occur if the muscles in the legs are out of balance, which happens when the person runs on an uneven surface, runs incorrectly, or abruptly changes their routine.
The first symptoms of the injury are a pain on the outside of the knee when the person walks downstairs. The pain is worse when they run, and there may be a swelling of the tissue around the outside of the upper leg. The knee may hurt when it is bent or straightened and the person may feel a weakness when they move their hip sideways.
Achilles Tendinitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon. The symptoms are pain and swelling at the back of the ankle. Achilles tendinitis can be caused by overtraining, wearing footwear that doesn’t support the feet, or sudden changes in the runner’s training routine. It’s also a risk when the runner doesn’t warm up properly.
Rehab and Physical Therapy Help with Running Injuries
It’s important that runners who suffer from these injuries get physical therapy and rehabilitation. Untreated running injuries can lead to complications and even disability. With shin splints, the person may risk stress fractures if they continue to run. Untreated IT band syndrome may lead to permanent pain in the knee and the hip, and untreated plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis make walking painful and worsen the inflammation.
If you need to physical therapy for a running-related injury, our team at Biomotion Physical Therapy can help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and get started on the path to recovery.