Running Evaluation

Running injuries are seldom the result of an acute or sudden event. Instead, they are usually the result of cumulative micro-trauma also known as repetitive overuse injuries.

Sixty-five percent of all runners experience a running injury in a given year according to Runner’s World. Common running injuries that may require the attention of a physical therapist include:

  • Calf (gastrocnemius/soleus) strains
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Hip bursitis
  • Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome
  • Patellofemoral pain (kneecap problems)
  • Shin splints
  • Hamstrings strains
  • Tibialis posterior tendonitis

A Thorough Physical Therapy Evaluation is Where Treatment Begins

Runners can suffer from a variety of injuries and there are numerous reasons why a runner might be experiencing pain. The first thing your physical therapist will do is perform an evaluation. This consists of the following:

  • Your past medical history
  • Your current complaints
  • What makes the problem better and worse
  • Any past or present treatment

Then a thorough physical exam is performed including:

  • Strength
  • Endurance
  • Flexibility
  • Foot, knee, hip, pelvis mechanics
  • Observation and analysis of your running style (gait analysis)
  • Examination of your footwear and any orthoses if used

How a Physical Therapist can Help

Physical therapists can help runners recover from injuries as well as decrease the chance that they will return. Improving the following can be of assistance:

  • Running technique
  • Thigh and calf strength
  • Hip/core stability
  • Quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf flexibility
  • Foot mechanics and shoe recommendations
  • Shock absorption
  • Training strategies (frequency, training time, distance, environment)

Conservative care for running injuries is important. Runners that push through pain can cause long-lasting injuries that may limit training and performance. Seeing a physical therapist that is trained in the evaluation and treatment of running injuries can help.

Do You Suffer with a Running Injury?

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