Running Injuries, Can A Osteopath Help

Running Injuries, Can A Osteopath Help

Running is repetitive and demanding so injuries are common. In this blog we have outlined some common running injuries and how we can help: Or perhaps you should see a osteopath for running injuries.

Runners Knee or Anterior Knee Pain 

Most commonly called runners knee, this is a very common injury with runners. The repetitive, demanding nature of running will cause additional forces through your knee. If there is a muscular imbalance this will cause irritation into the tendons on one side of your knee through kneecap (patella) maltracking.

Is Runners Knee Serious?

No, however if you leave it alone symptoms are not likely to get better and are more likely to get worse. This will affect your ability to be pain free doing activities that you enjoy (running).

What Part of the Knee is Damaged in Runners Knee?

Your patella or kneecap after putting too much strain on the kneecap after prolonged running. Symptoms of this injury are dull aching type pain around the kneecap (maybe swelling), especially at the top of the knee cap. The pain will be worse upon loading the knee so walking up and downstairs, running after a short distance (maybe 5 miles) and after a run that evening or the following morning.

Can an Osteopath Treat Knee Pain?

Yes, seeing an osteopath to establish why you are experience pain in your knee/s and assess how your whole body is moving. Your Osteopath should assess your ankles, knees, hips, pelvic levels and spine. Also identify muscular imbalances, give hands on treatment and give specific rehab exercises.

Running Injuries 

Achilles Tendonitis 

Your achilles tendon runs from the back of your heel to your calf muscles. Injury to the area may be caused poor running technique, increasing your mileage and/or speed too quickly. Poor function of the ankle, knee or hip functions, tight calf and hamstring tensions. Feeling pain and tenderness to touch along the back of foot or above the heel (sometimes swelling) are normal symptoms.

What Causes Achilles Tendonitis to Flare Up? 

Aggravated by weight bearing, walking up and downstairs and running. If this occurs rest from training initially to allow time for the tendon to recover. Then see an Osteopath who can advise on the right exercises (stretching and strengthening) to speed up your recovery.

Can Osteopathy help with Achilles Tendonitis?

Yes, an Osteopath will give hands on therapy to optimise your recovery. They will advise on rehab exercises (stretches and strengthening).

Shin Splints

A dull achy pain down your shins that becomes progressively sharper aggravated by weight bearing could be a sign of shin splints.

Do Shin Splints Go Away?

No, if you experience shin pains, do some gentle stretching for your shin muscles (tibalis anterior) and calf muscles. Rest and book an osteopathy appointment to get it checked out. Do not ‘push through it’ in this case, as you may damage the shin bones with stress fractures. Shin splints can be caused by muscular imbalances, tightness and running technique. If you are new to running and the compressive loading through the feet and ankles this could increase your risk of having shin splints.

How do I Stop Getting Shin Splints?

See an Osteopath to address the cause of your problem as it could be a problem with your ankles, knees, hips or posture. Then start regular (stretching and strengthening) practice to rehab and then support your running.

Can It Help with Shin Splints?

Yes, an Osteopath can give hands on treatment to lightly stretch the muscles and articulate the joints and advise you on a rehabilitation plan to aid your recovery. Shin splints can effect mainly the muscle in the earlier stages but it is best to get on top of the symptoms before affecting the bone.  

Running Injuries 

Hamstring Tendonitis 

Typically you feel hamstring injuries straight away whilst exercising. You will feel a sudden pain whilst running in the back of your thigh or a deeper pain in your buttock. It will then be difficult to walk and straightening your knee will be painful. You may experience weaknesses and your hamstring will be tender to touch. Pain will be aggravated on squats, lunging and on prolonged sitting.  

Is Tendinopathy the Same as a Tendonitis?  

No, a tendonitis is where your tendon becomes inflamed from movements which overload your tendon suddenly. This causes micro tears to the tendon (Bass). A Tendinopathy is the degeneration of your tendon through chronic overuse such as repetitive strain injuries. When this happens it is important to rest and allow the body to heal.    

How do you Treat Hamstring Strain and Tendonitis?

A combination of muscular strengthening, light stretching and hands on therapy. Everybody is different and so should their rehab plans be. However typically we suggest to keep moving but try non weight bearing activities like cross trainer or swimming for 2 weeks after the injury onset. Also muscular strengthening and tendon loading exercises and then graded return to activity. At Wellthy Clinic we want to take proactive steps to prevent a recurrence by questioning why did it happen in the first place. Could your hip mobility be improved? How is your core, hamstrings and glut strength? How is your upper back and ankle mobility?   

Does Hamstring Tendonitis go Away?  

Yes you will recover but it will take time to heal. Recurrence rates are high (30% of people) so it’s important to have a rehab plan. Your tendonitis could also develop into a tendinosis which have longer healing times so it’s best to have an effective rehab plan.

How Long does a Hamstring Tendonitis Last?

Typically a tendonitis can take anywhere between a few days – 6 weeks depending on the individual. However it is important not to repeatedly strain the tendon otherwise this could cause a Tendinosis which could take between 6-10 weeks (early stage) or 3-6 months (chronic stage). A tendonitis is where your tendon becomes inflamed from movements which overload your tendon suddenly. This causes micro tears to the tendon. A Tendinopathy is the degeneration of your tendon through chronic overuse such as repetitive strain injuries. When this happens it is important to rest and allow the body to heal. Therefore seeing an Osteopath to diagnose correctly and formulate an effective rehab is all important to heal, stop progression into a tendinopathy and prevent recurrence.  

Is it OK to Walk on a Sprained Ankle?

Yes but we would advise resting (stop running) for the first 2 weeks to allow the body a chance to recover. In our experience hands on Osteopathy with ankle and foot articulation and muscle stretching will optimise recovery. In addition, ankle strengthening rehab exercises, stretching and non weight bearing exercise  (cross trainer or swimming).  

Do Ankle Sprains Ever Fully Heal? 

Once you have sprained your ankle the injury reoccurrence rate is much higher so it is important to take pro-active steps to rehab effectively. At Wellthy Clinic we would give you a structured rehab plan to get you back running as quickly as possible but with a stronger foundation to reduce the likelihood of an injury reoccurrence. 

Hip Flexor Strains 

How Do you Know if you have Pulled Your Hip Flexor?  

Quite common in runners who engage in a lot of forceful flexion movements. You may feel pain whilst you were exercising or afterwards. Hip flexion will be painful and your muscles at the front of your thigh will be tender to touch. 

Can I Exercise with a Hip Flexor Strain? 

Yes but initially it maybe better to do some light stretching and rest for a week before returning to activity. Having a rehab plan to avoid future recurrence would be advised. Improving your core strength through Pilates and addressing hip mobility through hands on Osteopathy would be beneficial.       

How Do you Treat a Strained Hip Flexor?

A combination of core strengthening and light stretching your hip flexors and hamstrings is always a good place to start. That said everybody is different so hands on Osteopathy and Pilates rehab exercises specific for the individual will gain the best results and speed up your recovery.   

Running Injuries Conclusion 

You can recover from all these running injuries given a well structured rehabilitation plan and time. At Wellthy Clinic we will assess your posture, joint and muscle movements to identify imbalances and leg lengths. Give hands on therapy to stretch the muscles, articulate joints, manipulate joints (only if appropriate and with consent). Advise on an exercise rehab plan to get you back to training as quickly and safely as possible. We will advise on the best warm ups and cool downs. Also structured training programs that don’t progress to quickly (time, intensity or distance). Build up your core strength and flexibility, discuss your running technique and get you race ready!