If you are a runner, you no doubt experience aches and pains on a regular basis. And if you are an active runner for long enough, you will most likely suffer some type of injury. Minor injuries such as twisted ankles might keep you off your feet for a couple of days, but you can usually get back out there fairly quickly with some ice, heat, and rest. More severe running injuries can lay you up for a while. These types of injuries can often be effectively treated with mobile physical therapy.
Common Types of Running Injuries
There are several injuries runners frequently experience that may take them out for an extended period of time. These include:
- Runner’s Knee: Running repeatedly up and down pavement puts constant stress on the kneecap, often resulting in an injury known as patellofemoral pain syndrome or “runner’s knee”. This condition is characterized by tender pain around or behind the kneecap.
- Achilles Tendonitis: A number of factors while running can cause swelling in the Achilles tendon, which is the set of tissues connecting the heel with the lower leg muscles.
- Shin Splints: Inflammation of the muscles that cover the shinbone, resulting in aching and stabbing feelings in the shins.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Pounding the pavement excessively and/or doing so with improper footwear (e.g., sandals, flip-flops, etc.) can result in tearing, irritation, or inflammation of the tissue on the bottom of the foot, also known as the plantar fascia.
- Pulled Muscles: When muscles are overused or inflexible due to lack of proper stretching, the fibers and tendons can tear and muscles can become pulled. For runners, this is especially common with hamstrings and calves.
- Stress Fractures: On occasion, runners can end up with broken bones. The most common is a stress fracture in the leg bones due to repeated pounding on the pavement.
How Physical Therapy Treats Running Injuries
For more serious running injuries, physical therapy can speed up the recovery process and have runners back in form within a shorter period of time. The therapist starts with a thorough evaluation of the patient’s condition and symptoms. Next, a customized treatment plan is created to address the specific needs of the individual.
Physical therapy for running injuries typically focuses on stretching and strengthening the muscles in and around the affected area. This is often accomplished through a combination of massages, targeted stretching exercises, and as the strength of the patient builds, some walking and running exercises.
The Advantage of Mobile Physical Therapy for Running Injuries: In any physical therapy program, the most important key to success is consistency. If at all possible, the patient must keep his/her appointments and follow through on the exercises the therapist prescribes. One exercise builds on another, and momentum is critical. Failure to follow through can set the patient back and delay recovery.
The challenge for injured runners receiving physical therapy is there are days when they do not feel up to traveling. When the pain is especially severe, they may not want to drive into the hospital or clinic for therapy appointments, which can lead to missing visits and lost momentum.
Mobile physical therapy solves this problem. With mobile therapy, the therapist comes to you and administers treatment in the comfort of your own home or office. Scheduling appointments is typically much easier, and there is no need to travel anywhere; all the patient has to do is be ready when the therapist arrives. This significantly reduces the chances of missing an appointment and allows the patient to take full advantage of the benefits physical therapy has to offer.