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Running Program

Exercise is an important part of life to get or stay healthy and fit.  For many people, running and training is a great way to stay healthy, burn calories, relieve stress socialize with others and get ready for the next race.  Unfortunately this increases the possibility of an occasional injury or a flare-up of an old injury or condition.

Almost everyone knows that exercise is good for your heart and lungs and many people are such avid exercisers that they are of the mindset that if they are going to have an injury they would rather it be orthopedic in nature than cardiac.  So whether you run for good health, to relieve stress or for any other reason, you are likely to suffer from an orthopedic injury of some sort.  These orthopedic injuries are related to the wear and tear that is placed on your joints and the soft tissue around them including the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

SPRAINS:   A sprain occurs when the connective tissue that joins the end of one bone with another is stretched, torn, or has too much force applied to it.  Those connective tissues are known as ligaments.  Sprains are caused by trauma such as a fall of a blow to the body that knocks a joint out of position but they can also be caused be repetitive wear on the ligament as well.

STRAINS:  A strain will occur when a muscle or tendon is pulled or overworked, torn, twisted, etc.  Strains can be contact or non-contact related such as those that occur from overstretching, working out to hard, pushing through workouts when fatigued or de-conditioned, or more.  A common example of a strain is a muscle cramp or a pulled muscle.  These strains can occur in any muscle in your body and are easily treated with physical therapy.

COMMON RUNNING INJURIES / PAINS:

  • KNEE INJURIES: According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the knee is the most commonly injured joint.  Orthopedic surgeons see more than 5.5 million people annually for knee injuries which include “Runners Knee” (pain or tendonitis close to the knee cap or on the sides of the knee, illiotibial band syndrome (pain on the outside of the knee) and more.  These tissues at the knee joint are most commonly irritated with the repetitive striking associated with running and very often become imbalanced with other muscles and tendons around the knee joint and thus cause pain and lost time with training.
  • SHIN SPLINTS:  Shin splints occur when there is pain along the large bone on the front of your lower leg known as the tibia.  Shin splints most commonly occur in runners, especially those who are just starting a running program or are making modifications to their program.  This is usually due to poor alignment of the body or a combination of weakness and or tightness in the leg muscles.
  • HIP INJURIES:  These may include such things as ITB Syndrome, Piriformis Syndrome, Hip Flexor problems, Bursitis, and more.  These hip conditions are all the result of the excessive stress that ends up at your hip joint as a result of the ground reaction forces and your body weight meeting each other at a specific location.  When a hip problem begins, it is the sign of muscle imbalances with regards to flexibility and strength of the surrounding musculature.  These tissues then gradually shorten over time due to the excessive stress placed on them and at some time begin to cause pain, become inflamed and other reactions.
  • PLANTARFASCITIS:  Plantarfascitis is an irritation to a band of tissue on the bottom of your foot.  The plantarfascia works to support your arch and help to absorb shock when your foot hits the ground.  Tight tissues in the leg, weal leg muscles, and minor changes in your running pattern or stride can irritate this tissue and side line you for a long time.
  • ACHILLES TENDONITIS:  Your Achilles tendon attaches to your calf muscle which is the largest shock absorber when your foot hits the ground.  It is then the tendon that your calf pulls on when it lifts your heel off the ground to take the next step.  In short it is pulled on every time you hit the ground and every time your foot leaves the ground.  Imagine how many steps you take during a normal run and multiply the work load by two.  As a result the Achilles tendon is very vulnerable tissue and needs to be kept in great working order with specific stretching and strengthening.

The good news is that Loudoun Sports Therapy Center can treat these orthopedic and repetitive motion injuries with the need for invasive surgery or extensive medications.  The licensed Physical Therapists at Loudoun Sports Therapy Center will evaluate your condition and customize a program of care that addresses all of your areas of need including (but not limited to):

  • Mechanics of your running
  • Flexibility and strength of primary muscle groups
  • Flexibility and strength of supporting muscle groups
  • Core strength and control
  • Footwear
  • Alignment and other issues

Our treatment program will recognize the affect any of the above is having on your ability to train and compete and will allow you to recover from injury quickly and get back to your training.  Even if you have an old injury, it is important to have it evaluated by our Physical Therapists to prevent long term damage such as arthritis to your joints.  If you have an old injury like tendonitis, arthritis, stress fracture, or low back pain, our therapists can design a treatment program to promote wellness and get you back to training and competing at the level you desire.