In the Physical Therapy Department at Semmes-Murphey Clinic, we often treat patients who come to us with running-related pain issues. Our process is to assess the problem, create a treatment plan to resolve the issues, and provide suggestions to avoid any future injury.
ASSESSING THE INJURY.
Typical running injuries include knee pain, lower-back pain, hip pain, plantar fasciitis (heel pain), Iliotibial band syndrome, patellar tendonitis, chondromalacia, and Achilles tendonitis. Through the use of biomechanical evaluation (including observation of running form), we are able to identify the mechanical fault that leads to the injuries listed above. Identifying these faults allows us to construct an individualized treatment program that addresses the cause of the injury. This is a necessary step in the recovery process as well as preventing further injuries.
Should the assessment indicate, we have an easy access Neck & Back Care Clinic available in the same building with neuro physicians available.
DESIGNING A TREATMENT PLAN.
Treatment plans typically include a combination of manual therapy to address soft tissue dysfunction and restore normal joint mobility, and therapeutic exercise to improve flexibility in the joints that need to be mobile and strength and stability in the joints that need to be stable during running. We also discuss self-care techniques and a home therapeutic exercise programs utilizing foam rollers and self-acupressure and soft tissue techniques. And, finally, we perform a shoe evaluation and orthotics review to ensure proper footwear and foot support.
Depending on the severity of the injury, patients may return to normal activity in 7-14 days.
AVOIDING FUTURE INJURY.
Patients are encouraged to follow reasonable preventive techniques with running, or with any strenuous sport. Those could include a implementing a structured training program with cross training, avoiding overtraining, using proper stretching techniques, using proper running form, using proper footwear/ shoes, and being sensitive to muscle imbalance issues and addressing them.
It’s always a good idea to treat running pain early on before longer-term damage may be done. Physical therapy is available with many health insurance plans without the need of a physician referral.
Ben Graves is the Director of Physical Therapy at Semmes-Murphey Clinic. Call the PT direct line at (901) 259-8401 for more information, or visit Semmes-Murphey.com.