Let’s talk about how running injuries happen. A leading cause of injury to runners is training error. Large changes in running volume or speed can contribute to these injuries. A runner’s training program should be consistent, slowly building up intensity. Poor strength of legs, and lack of good coordination leads to improper form and may result in injury.
Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome is a condition seen in runners commonly, and a main cause of lateral knee pain. The main cause of ITBS is weak hip abductors, which causes abnormal hip and foot mechanics, and may lead to tightening of the iliotibial tract. Here at Excellcare Physical Therapy, we will focus on mobilizing the tight soft tissue, and properly facilitating the weak hip abductors. We will then begin a return to run program on a flat surface.
Another common running injury is Hamstring tendinopathy. The pain may be reported to be in the buttock or posterior thigh. Again, this injury can be a result of improper training and muscular imbalances. In order to take the strain off of the hamstring, treatment will focus on trunk and pelvic stabilization exercises. We also offer dry needling to the hamstring, which will break up adhesions in the muscle. There may also be changes recommended after a gait analysis, such as instruction to not over stride.
Sacroiliac dysfunction may be reported by a patient as low back pain, but also may refer pain to gluteal region, groin, or thigh. Hip extensor and abductor weakness contributes to SI dysfunction, so treatment will focus on facilitating the weak muscles. The SI joint may be hypomobile, or “stiff”, so we can optimize mobility through muscle energy techniques.