Off to a Running Start
The good weather has arrived and with that comes hoards of keen runners emerging to pound the pavements of Dublin’s fair city. Whether desperate for that summer body, training for that first marathon or simply glad to be active outdoors; it’s rarely long before the aches and niggles begin to creep in. Below is an overview of some of the most common injuries impeding avid runners’ momentum.
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Also known as PFPS or “runners’ knee”, patellofemoral pain syndrome causes pain at the front of your knee due to an irritation around the kneecap (patella). This can occur when muscle imbalances or weaknesses around the hip and knee cause malalignment of the kneecap while striding. Repetitive faulty tracking associated with running further or hill session might also exacerbate symptoms.
The Achilles attaches the two calf muscles – soleus and and gastrocnemius – to the back of the heel. If inflamed – a result of excessive stress and consequent scar tissue build up – runners develop pain along the back of the tendon and into the heel. Calf tightness, foot posture, inappropriate footwear and overtraining can all be contributing factors to the development of Achilles Tendonitis.
Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the shock-absorbing band of tissue connecting the heel to the toes along the undersurface of the foot commonly manifesting as a stabbing pain in the arch or heel. Insufficient ankle mobility, foot biomechanics and footwear choices can impact the probability of developing the plantar fasciitis. The condition typically presents with the first few steps following rest reported as most painful.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome
The IT band is a thick band of fascia running down the outside of the thigh from the hip to just below the knee. Iliotibial syndrome is an overuse injury thought to occur from prolonged or increased compression of the band close to it’s bony insertion with knee flexion and extension. This friction worsens with inadequate mobility and hip muscle weaknesses. Subsequent inflammation causes pain on the lateral aspect of the knee which is progressively aggravated while running.
Low Back Pain
Runners can present with low back pain for a multitude of reasons. Deficient hip mobility, weak core musculature and poor lumbopelvic control contribute to disproportionate pelvic tilting or rotation and exaggerated stress on intervertebral joints. Consequential postural defects and improper running technique can cause undesirable back pain during and/or after running.
All of these running injuries and more, can be resolved and oftentimes prevented by assessment and appropriate intervention with our physiotherapists. Please contact us today on (01) 296 4964 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for an in-depth evaluation and a range of treatment options to help tackle your pain appropriately.
Alice Fallon is a chartered physiotherapist with a Masters in Sports and Exercise Medicine from Trinity College. She has divided her time between working in private practice – both at home and abroad – and with division one rugby clubs and inter-county GAA teams. Alice recently returned from touring internationally with Riverdance as Chief Medical Officer and is also a certified Strength and Conditioning specialist.