Runners are known to push their bodies to the limits, but more often than not that could result to injury. While their spirits are strong, their body sometimes can’t keep up, and that’s where the problem lies. Today we’ll talk about common running injuries and how physiotherapy helps with faster returns to running and sport.
Common Running Injuries
Often known as the most prevalent type of injury in runners, patellofemoral pain often occurs due to maltracking of the patella (kneecap). This usually presents as pain at the front of the knee, and can occur for a variety of reasons including muscle weakness, reduced muscle length or biomechanical errors. Pain is usually experienced when squatting, running, up and down the stairs, or even when sitting with the knee bent for prolonged periods of time.
Stress fractures may occur in runners when they begin pushing themselves too hard before they have adapted to a new regimen or activity, otherwise known as a load error. They may also occur due to poor biomechanics. Stress fractures often occur in the foot, with pain location dependant on the type of stress fracture. Pain usually worsens with continued running.
Shin splints are usually confused with stress fractures due to the similarity of cause - both injuries arise when changing workloads or running regime too quickly. The defining characteristic of shin splints, however, is that it occurs at the inside of your shin/lower leg, and worsens with running.
As you may have guessed, this injury involves the achilles tendon, which attaches the back of the heel (calcaneus) to the calf muscle. Not surprisingly, this type of injury also occurs due to poor load management with running, causing pain and sometimes stiffness in the achilles tendon itself. Specific physiotherapy exercises are important in managing this type of injury, to settle the tendon pain and enable the tendon to re-adapt to running loads.
Muscle injuries, including tears and strains are also common in running. These may happen when you overstretch a muscle, causing small tears. Sometimes a popping or tearing sensation can also occur when it happens. Some of the usual sites of muscle injuries in running are the groin, calf, quadriceps, and hamstrings.
An acutely painful type of injury, an ankle sprain, occurs when the foot rolls in or out. As a result of this unfortunate incident, ligaments that surround the ankle are stretched to their limits and teared, thus the feeling of pain. It is important these types of injuries are seen to immediately, so as to maximise recovery.
Plantar fasciitis refers to pain in the heel or sole of the foot. The plantar fascia is the tissue which extends from the heel to the bottom of the foot and toes. Plantar fasciitis commonly affects individuals who have a high arch and tight calf muscles. Some incidents are also associated with increased physical activity, or poor footwear, although there are cases wherein the injury can happen unexpectedly and without obvious causes.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome
The iliotibial band (ITB) refers to taut band that covers the area starting from the top of the hip, coursing through the outside of the thigh, onto the outside of the knee. In ITB syndrome, this band causes friction on the outside of the knee, leading to pain in this location.
Preventing Common Running Injuries
As we all know, runners are stubborn by nature, because asking them to get off their feet is like asking anyone to stop breathing! So how do you prevent common running injuries from even occurring in the first place?
While runners are inclined to challenge their physical limitations, can be unwise to do so. Instead, you should allow some time for the body to make adjustments. Some of the ways to do it is by adding no more than 20 percent each week to mileage. Of course, don’t forget to get some rest days - don’t abuse your body!
Warm Up and Cool Down
Just like car engines, the body needs to warm up and cool down in order to get prepared for some strenuous activity. It helps you ease into running effectively, and your body will work with you. Do this in order to prevent injuries, and your body will love you for it.
Consider Your Form and Strength
Running injuries are not just caused by overuse of the feet. Sometimes it is due to poor biomechanics such as hip or trunk weakness. Make sure you get a biomechanical assessment and ask how you can improve your form and build strength so you can keep injuries at bay. Prevention is easier than cure!
How Physiotherapy Can Help
Stress to muscles and bones can cause injury to anyone, and that includes runners. This is the part where physiotherapy comes in. Physiotherapists are able to assess the injury, consider running biomechanics, plan a management regime, and also give due education on how to prevent the same issue from happening again in the future. Considering how running injuries are musculoskeletal problems in nature, physiotherapists are valuable partners in recovery.
Fortunately, our experienced professionals at Melbourne Sports and Spinal Physiotherapy are all trained in assessment, treatment, and education when it comes to common running injuries. Contact us today and be on your way to running injury-free.
Ankle Sprains are extremely common particularly in sports involving jumping and change of direction such as basketball, netball and football. A sprain occurs when the ligaments are stretched beyond their limits, causing damage and tearing.
There are many types of ankle sprains depending on severity, from mild sprains to complete ligament ruptures and fractures. There can be many different ligaments and joints involved, whereby not every ankle sprain is the same.
Most commonly, the ligaments on the lateral side of the ankle are injured, however medial ankle sprains can also occur, as well as high ankle sprains (syndesmosis injuries).
Following an ankle sprain, you may have difficulty walking or weight bearing. Crutches may be necessary depending on the severity. In some cases a camboot may be required. There will typically be swelling and bruising around the ankle. Ice is usually required for at the least the first 24-48 hours, as well as elevation and compression.
Physiotherapists have the ability to assess your ankle to determine the severity and type of ligament injury you have sustained. Sometimes an X-ray, CT/MRI, or ultrasound may be required, often to exclude fractures or other pathologies. Your physiotherapist can refer you for these investigations if required.
For typical ankle sprains, physiotherapy consists of individualised manual therapy, tailored exercises and education. Physiotherapy aims to:
1. Reduce swelling, pain and inflammation
2. Recover ankle range of motion
3. Strengthen ankle ligaments and muscles
4. Improve joint proprioception and balance
5. Retrain agility and running
6. Assist with a gradual return to sport
Research shows that if you have sustained an ankle sprain in the past, you are more likely to sustain another ankle sprain, particularly if you have not engaged in treatment or rehabilitation. This can lead to chronic ankle pain, arthritis and instability longer term.
Physiotherapy can assist in reducing the likelihood of re-injury, as well as providing ankle sprain prevention programs.
We experience various aches and pains that we sometimes ignore, but there are those that stop us from doing tasks that we usually do and don’t seem to go away. One of those is known as tennis elbow.
Tennis elbow, known in the medical world as lateral epicondylitis, is an injury wherein sufferers feel nagging pain usually on the outside of the arm. The pain is usually located specifically where the elbow and forearm meet. This is the area where important muscles and tendons attach, and are often injured by repetitive movements. While it is termed as tennis elbow, only a few actually get it from playing tennis!
The problem with this type of injury is that it can put stress on the tendons and other areas of the arm, debilitating an individual from lifting and gripping objects. If this condition is unaddressed, it can become a chronic issue.
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow
The primary manifestation of tennis elbow is pain that radiates from the elbow, down the forearm and wrist. The pain and weakness can make it difficult to do normal things, like shaking hands, holding a cup of coffee, or even turning a doorknob.
Rest, ice compress, and pain relievers can sometimes help alleviate some of the symptoms. However if your pain persists following this, it is best to consult a physiotherapist for further assessment.
How Tennis Elbow Occurs
Tennis elbow is a type of overuse injury, wherein the repeated contraction of the forearm muscles can cause small tears or tendon irregularities that cause pain. Tennis Elbow intially got its name as it was thought that poor technique or excessive gripping was the cause. Whilst biomechanics may be a factor, we now also know that overuse, or changes in load, produce excess strain on the tendons, and trigger a change in the tendon makeup.
Are You At Risk?
Some of the factors that increase your risk include:
It can happen to people of all ages, but the risk increases for those who are around 30 to 50 years old.
For those who have jobs that involve repetitive movements of the wrist and forearm, such as tradespeople or computer workers, the risk further increases.
Engaging in Certain Sports
As we all now know, poor technique or biomechanics in any sport, particularly racket sports may contribute to tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is commonly seen in golf, tennis, badminton, squash and table tennis.
How Physiotherapy can Help
While doctors can certainly prescribe medications and advice for tennis elbow, physiotherapists are often the best line of defense. They can fully assses the injury, prescribe and oversee various exercises to alleviate the pain, provide manual therapies as well as complete biomechanical reviews and advice. If you think you are suffering from tennis elbow, the best way to know for sure is to consult with a physiotherapist near you. On that note, our able therapists at Melbourne Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy can definitely help.
The Patellofemoral Joint is the articulation between the patella (knee cap) and the femur (thigh pain). Patellofemoral pain is a common knee complaint that often occurs due to altered alignment or maltracking of the patella. This is often due to poor biomechanics or muscle imbalances around the knees and hips. The quadriceps and gluteals play a big part in patellofemoral pain.
Patients normally experience a gradual onset of pain rather than traumatic, that usually occurs during weight bearing or loading activities. Pain climbing stairs, squatting, hopping, running and cycling are common. Sustained knee flexion such as sitting can also cause pain.
Most people describe symptoms as a dull ache at the front of the knee or deep within the knee.
Research shows that physiotherapy and specific exercises are effective in the management of patellofemoral pain, with 90% of sufferers being pain-free within six weeks. In some cases, such as damaged joint surfaces, or co-existing pathologies, surgery may be considered.
Physiotherapy consists of both manual therapy, as well as exercises to address associated muscle imbalances and altered mechanics.
Your physiotherapist will assess your individual needs and provide a rehabilitation plan to assist in getting you pain free, and preventing recurrence.
The Plantar Fascia is a thick and fibrous connective tissue that extends from your calcaneus (heel bone), and runs along the sole of your foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when this tissue becomes inflamed, causing pain under the heel or sole of the foot. Sometimes there may also be a bone spur present. The pain is often worse in the morning, or with the first few steps after prolonged sitting. It usually eases with walking.
Overuse may contribute to the pain, as well as foot biomechanics, a change in footwear, or exercise loads.
If you think you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, a full assessment and treatment by a physiotherapist is essential. Most plantar fasciitis will settle with appropriate management. For stubborn pain, we may be able to provide alternative options.
To help get you started, here are a few tips to help settle things in the short term:
For further advice, or to book an appointment contact us today.
Melbourne Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy would like to wish all our patients, families and friends a very Merry Christmas and a safe & happy New Year. Thank you to all our patients for their support in 2017. On behalf of the team we would like to wish you all a healthy and injury-free 2018. We look forward to a bigger and better year ahead!
Melbourne Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy are rewarding our clients for helping others look after themselves. Simply refer a friend or family member to us, and when they book you'll both receive $10 off your next consultation.
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The use of smart phones, tablets and laptops for extended periods of time can have a detrimental affect posture.
Physiotherapists are seeing an increasing number of injuries due to poor posture, sedentary lifestyles and increased use of technology. People are spending an average of two to four hours a day with their heads down reading , or using devices.
Putting the body in sustained postures for extended periods of time puts excess strain on the muscles and joints of the neck and back. These increased stresses can contribute to neck pain, headaches and early degeneration, with office workers and students most at risk. Physiotherapists can help treat, manage and prevent postural injuries via manual therapy, specific postural exercises and ergonomic advice.
Basic tips you can use to reduce postural pain whilst using a computer or device:
1. Avoid prolonged use of your device. Take breaks every 45mins-1hour, moving away from the screen. Some simple neck stretches or exercises as guided by your physiotherapist can be useful.
2. Ensure you have optimal and ergonomic posture whilst using your computer or device. Our physiotherapists can provide desk and postural assessments to assist with this. You may also consider a standing desk for prolonged computer use.
If you are spending prolonged periods of time in front of a computer or using handheld devices, or would like some further advice contact us today for more information on how to treat and prevent postural injuries.
Pain commonly occurs due to age, trauma, or osteoarthritis, and may be due to joint or soft tissue pathology. In younger people, pain most commonly occurs due to trauma such as a sports injury. This type of injury can affect bones or soft tissues, and includes injuries such as fractures or ligament/muscles sprains and strains. In older people, the most common cause of pain is osteoarthritis and often affects joints such as the knees and hips.
Whilst is it common, joint pain is not always related to an injury, overuse or illness. Often if pain persists long term and is unexplained, the less likely there is to be actual tissue damage. That is, pain does not always equate to damage; a common misconception.
If you are suffering from an acute or chronic injury, including osteoarthritis, traumatic injuries or overuse injuries we can help!
Melbourne Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy will provide a thorough assessment of your injury and provide you with a management plan to get you back on track, not matter whether you have an old or new injury. Original article source.
Want $20 off your next appointment? To celebrate the beginning of spring, and World Physiotherapy Day on 8th September, Melbourne Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy is offering $20 OFF all physiotherapy appointments for the month of September. This offer is available to all patients; new and existing, who mention this offer at the time of booking.
* Limit of one per customer, Must be mentioned at time of booking, cannot be redeemed for cash
* Must be redeemed within month of September 2017