Physiotherapy & Clinical Pilates for Running Injuries

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Physiotherapy & Clinical Pilates for Running Injuries

Running, while a fantastic form of exercise and a popular hobby for many, comes with its fair share of risks. Common injuries such as runner’s knee, shin splints, and stress fractures can all take a toll on even the most seasoned of runners. 

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Physiotherapy and Clinical Pilates are highly effective tools in overcoming these injuries, helping to restore strength, flexibility, and endurance. 

In this blog post, we will delve into some of the most common running-related injuries, and explore how physiotherapy combined with the principles and movement practice of clinical Pilates can play a pivotal role in your recovery and return to the track.

8 Common Running Injuries

1. Shin Splints

This condition, characterized by pain along the front of the lower leg, is often caused by overuse. Runners, particularly beginners who may not be accustomed to the stresses of running, are at risk. Physiotherapists can find the root of the problem, address loading issues, and help alleviate pain. We will alsoteach stretching and strengthening exercises to get you back to running painfree and prevent future shin splints.

2. Iliotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome

ITB syndrome is an overuse injury of the connective tissues that are located on the outer thigh and knee. This can cause pain and tenderness in those areas, particularly in runners who are ramping up their training intensity or mileage too quickly. Physiotherapists can teach you ways to stretch and balance the strength of the muscles that attach into the ITB, reducing inflammation and pain.

3. Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are tiny cracks in a bone that occur over time due to repetitive force, often from overuse — such as repeatedly jumping up and down or running long distances. A Physiotherapist can guide a runner through a rehabilitation program and suggest a gradual return to running. Physiotherapy tips on shoes, cadence, stride length, and technique will also improve your long term bone health while running.

4. Patellar Tendinitis

Patellar tendinitis, also known as runner’s knee, is an injury to the tendon connecting your kneecap (patella) to your shinbone. This is common in runners and those who participate in sports that involve jumping. Physiotherapists can help reduce symptoms, improve mobility and strength, and return to running safely.

5. Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone. Runners who have suddenly increased the intensity or duration of their runs are more likely to experience this injury. Physiotherapists can help prescribe tailored exercises to stretch the Achilles tendon and balance the load of the whole leg muscles.

6. Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia). It’s commonly seen in runners and can cause stabbing pain that typically occurs with your first steps in the morning. Physiotherapists can provide exercises and stretches to help relieve pain and inflammation, and strengthen your foot muscles to prevent recurrence. Advice on orthotics, shoes, tape, and other pain management strategies are also ways in which Physiotherapists can get you out of pain faster and back to running again.

7. Hamstring Injuries

Hamstring injuries are common in athletes who participate in sports that require strong accelerations or sudden stops. These injuries, which can range from minor strains to major tears, can be a significant setback for a runner. Physiotherapists can treat the area with joint mobilizations, soft tissue release, and prescribe tailored exercises to speed up recovery. Their skill in assessing and addressing any muscle imbalances across the lower back, pelvis, and hips is crucial for long term function and efficiency in sport and running while reducing the risk of future hamstring injuries.

8. Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are injuries to the ligaments in your ankle. These can happen when you twist your ankle, causing one or more ligaments along your ankle to tear (often the outer ankle is most common). Runners can easily sprain an ankle while running on uneven surfaces or suddenly missing a step/curb.

Despite the setbacks these injuries can cause, appropriate physiotherapy treatment can speed up recovery time, ensure proper healing, and help prevent the recurrence of the injury.

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Physiotherapy for Running Injuries

Physiotherapy plays a crucial role not only in the treatment of running injuries but also in their prevention. By focusing on the biomechanics of running, a physiotherapist can help identify and correct any imbalances or inefficiencies that could lead to injuries down the line.

When injuries do occur, physiotherapy is instrumental in the recovery process. 

Physiotherapists work with patients to design personalized treatment plans that address the root cause of the injury, rather than just treating the symptoms. This may include targeted exercises to rehabilitate the affected area, techniques to manage pain, and strategies to prevent the injury from recurring. Physiotherapists can also provide education on running technique, load strategies, shoe recommendations, pre/post running routines, and return to running guidelines. These strategies help support a successful return to running program while teaching lifelong health tips that will aid in future injury prevention.

It’s not just about getting runners back on their feet as quickly as possible; it’s about equipping them with the tools and knowledge to run safely and efficiently in the future.

Clinical Pilates for Running Injuries

Clinical Pilates is an advanced skillset utilized by some Physiotherapists. It takes into consideration specific injuries, physical needs, and rehabilitation goals. This focused approach can be highly beneficial in the treatment and prevention of running injuries.

The exercises aim to improve core stability, enhance muscular control, increase flexibility, and promote better posture — all key elements in efficient running mechanics. By improving these areas, runners can better absorb shock, maintain alignment, and minimize the strain on their joints and muscles, reducing their risk of injury.

When it comes to treating injuries, the low-impact nature of Clinical Pilates allows injured runners to maintain their fitness levels while also rehabilitating the affected area.

The exercises can be tailored to specifically target the injured area, thereby improving strength, enhancing mobility, and promoting healing.

Another benefit of Clinical Pilates is how it emphasizes body awareness, helping runners to better understand their body, identify any imbalances, and fine-tune their running technique. This heightened body awareness can enable runners to detect and correct inefficient movements, helping prevent future injuries.

running injuries vancouver

Treating Running Injuries in Vancouver

Running is a physically demanding activity that can lead to various injuries if not approached Whether you are a seasoned marathoner or a recreational jogger, physiotherapy can help you enhance your performance, recover from injuries, and ensure your running form is biomechanically sound. 

Don’t let injuries keep you from the joy of running. Visit our dedicated team at Reformotiv Physio + Pilates in Vancouver today, and let us help you keep moving forward, one stride at a time.