Physiotherapy for Runners
Running has become one of the biggest leisure activities within the UK. Research suggests that over 80% of runners experience some form of injury each year.
Most running related injuries are regarded as overuse injuries and are often related to training error. Other contributing factors such as biomechanical issues, footwear, strength, flexibility and training surfaces have also been highlighted within the literature. Most running injuries occur in the lower limb, more specifically in the knee.
Common Running Injuries
There are numerous injuries that runners can sustain but the most common running injuries include Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy, Shin Splints, Patella tendinopathy, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, Stress Fractures and Patellofemoral Joint Syndrome.
Reducing the risk of a running injury
To reduce your risk of injury, it is important to avoid sudden increases in intensity, duration and frequency of your training. If you are new to running or increasing your mileage for a specific event, increasing your overall mileage by no more than 10% is deemed a sensible approach. Allowing adequate rest between sessions is vitally important to reduce overload. It is though incorporating a varied training approach to include intervals and speed work will reduce the athletes risk of injury and becoming ‘one paced’.
Incorporating a strength and conditioning program into your training regime is known to improve runners load tolerance. This in turn can lead to an improvement in running economy and performance and reduce injury risk.
Biomechanical errors, lack of flexibility, stability and control can also leave a runner predisposed to injury. These factors can be thoroughly assessed by an appropriately qualified and experienced physiotherapist and addressed accordingly.
Treatments following a Running Injury
Treatment sessions will be tailored towards the individual and the injury but will typically consist of some of the following; review of training programs/patterns, strength and conditioning exercises, core stability exercises, running specific exercises and drills, soft tissue release techniques, joint mobilisations, strapping/taping and acupuncture.
Runners Injury Physiotherapy Specialist
Our running expert Ben Farrelly is a competitive runner with Salford Metropolitan Athletics Club and regularly competes on the road, track and cross country. Ben has a special interest in running related injuries and has undertaken additional post-graduate training in this field. Subsequently, Ben treats a large number of runners ranging from recreational joggers to athletes competing at a national level. In clinic, Ben conducts specific running assessments which includes:
- Analysis of training/loading programs to identify any training error.
- Full musculoskeletal assessment.
- Filmed gait analysis.
Following the assessment, any potential key problems are identified. Subsequently, training programs are devised and gait advice, retraining strategies are employed. Verbal cues, rehab exercises and drills are provided in order to address the initial problems identified. This is complimented with hands on treatment. Running assessments can be completed with those experiencing injury and for those without injury. Non-injured runners frequently attend for a runners assessment in order to prevent injury in the lead up to an event or to improve their running economy.
You can find our clinics across Greater Manchester and Merseyside, so if you have a running related injury then Please click here to contact us as our team of therapists are ready to help you.
Photographs courtesy of Pete Brown Photography