Running is not only an excellent way to stay active and fit but is also known to have positive effects on your mental health and overall wellbeing. The best part is you require practically no equipment at all and it can be done almost anywhere you like. Unfortunately, nagging injuries due to running can really put a dent in your fitness regimen, forcing you to either stop running for a while or go through a complete layoff, if the injury has become serious, that is.
This is where physiotherapy for runners comes in – it’s a great way to maintain peak fitness and health in terms of running performance, and also keep yourself injury-free in future, especially when other factors such as your diet, lifestyle and stress levels are kept in check.
Why do runners get injured?
If you think about it, running is very demanding on the body: your hips, knees and ankles bear the brunt of most of the impact, not to mention your entire spine from the cervical to the lower back region. At some point, when you push too hard and don’t fully understand the limits of your body, injuries can occur. However, there are other reasons for getting injured while running which may demand physiotherapy for runners:
- Improper footwear
- Generally bad or poor form while running
- Not warming up sufficiently
- Running on an uneven or otherwise unsuitable surface
- Not getting enough rest
- Not managing stress levels
- Not stretching from time to time to maintain agility, flexibility and nimbleness in the joints
Runners can suffer a variety of injuries due to the above. These include:
This involves pain and thickening of the tendon which sits right at the back of the heel. Running for too long or suddenly increasing distance or intensity, using poor form or wearing shoes that do not support your foot’s arch properly, can cause this condition.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome
Also known as runner’s knee, this is when you experience pain behind the kneecap which is typically experienced due to an uneven distribution of force on the joint’s surface. This, again, is associated with certain biomechanical factors which have to do with your running form, which is typically brought on by a weakness in the main working muscles, such as the glutes, quads and calves.
IT band syndrome
Many runners and even regular gym-goers suffer from this, where the pain is experienced on the outside of the knee. This is typically caused by strength and balance issues around the gluteal and hip muscles, which in turn, places an undue amount of stress on the iliotibial band (ITB), the chain of muscles running across the outside of the thigh.
How physiotherapy for runners helps
Physiotherapy for runners can help in many ways, helping both casual and competitive runners determine the root cause of pains, strains and injuries – and then putting an effective physical therapy programme in place to help heal the joints, tendons and muscles which are directly and indirectly involved.
Our expert physiotherapist will sit down with you to help you understand what programme works best for you, making you a far more efficient runner and helping you stay injury-free.