Did you know that approximately 79 percent of runners get an injury at least once during the year?  In many cases, injuries stem from poor footwear, increasing weekly mileage too quickly, overtraining, or terrain to name a few.  While every runner is different, the following are the two most common causes of running injuries.

Running Problem #1:

The most common problem I see with runners is a Lack of Dorsiflexion, which is how much someone is able to bring their toes up toward their head.  The motion is all at the ankle.  It is the opposite of pointing your foot down.  When this motion, this dorsiflexion gets restricted, it can cause pain along the bottom of the foot.  The motion can get restricted for a variety of reasons, tight muscles and tight joints are the most common. A lack of Dorsiflexion may be the cause of the following running injuries:

  • Plantar Fasciitis: Pain in the bottom of the foot, from the heel into the arch.
  • Achilles Tendonitis: Pain with the heel strike, pain when the foot lands on a curb, pain while running up the stairs or while changing direction.

Running Problem #2:

The second major issue I commonly see with runners is a Lack of Hip Strength.  This can cause the hip and entire leg to turn in, causing pain at the back, hip, knee, and/or the foot.  Hip Strengthening is very important for runners to avoid the following injuries:

  • Runners’ Knee:  Pain locates beneath and around the kneecap.
  • Iliotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome: Pain on the outside of the knee while running.
  • Shin Splints: Pain in the shin while running.

How Can PT Help?

For both problems, lack of dorsiflexion and lack of hip strength, physical therapy can help stretch and strengthen your muscles with corrective exercises individualized to your specific needs.  Many times, patients see YouTube or Instagram exercises and try it on themselves, often times aggravating their running injury.  While those exercises may work on some, it is not tailored to your specific problem so you may not have the same results or you may make your running injury worse.

Advanced Physical Therapy Specialists can provide the right manual therapy techniques and the right corrective exercises and orthopedic rehabilitation to get you back up on your feet and ready for your next run.  Whenever you’re ready and set to start, make an appointment for a Free Discovery Visit!