Common Running Injuries treated in Physical Therapy

By Dr. John R. Mishock, PT, DPT, DC

Running is one of the most popular and accessible sport activities worldwide. In the US, more than 40,000,000 people run. (Sports med, 2015) Running provides excellent health benefits, however, injuries due to running can arise with even a few miles per week can. Running injuries occur in up to 3% of all runners. Most of the running injuries lead to pain in the hips, legs and feet. In this article we will review some of the common injuries that afflict runners.

Piriformis syndrome: Common causes: Improper footwear, increased millage and/or increased intensity too quickly, poor running mechanics. This is usually associated with weak hips and core. Symptoms: Local pain and tightness in buttocks with possible tingling or numbness down back of leg. Most noted during prolonged sitting.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome: Common causes: Improper footwear, increased millage and/or increased intensity too quickly. Symptoms: Usually occurs after short periods of running with sharp pain on the outside of the knee.

Runner’s knee: Common causes: Increasing mileage and/or intensity too quickly, poor running mechanics. Symptoms: Swelling, aching pain behind and/or around the kneecap. Pain with walking up and/or down stairs.

Shin Splints: Common causes: Improper footwear, lack of flexibility in calves, running on hard surfaces. Symptoms: Throbbing or achy pain along the front of the shin. Usually occurs during and/or following a prolonged walk or run.

Achilles Tendinitis: Common causes: Improper footwear, increasing mileage and/or intensity too quickly. Symptoms: Swelling, painful to the touch, lack of flexibility along the back of the lower leg close to the heel.

Plantar Fascitis: Common causes: Improper footwear, Change in running surface, lack of flexibility in calves, increased millage and/or increased intensity too quickly. Symptoms: Deep ache and/or sharp pain in bottom of heel. Most commonly felt in the morning or following prolonged sitting.

Physical therapy can help you to return to pain-free running or walking. Strengthening and stretching of the appropriate musculature is essential to proper recovery as well as specific manual therapy to correct the appropriate tissue dysfunction. Also, a combination of RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and stretching at home will yield the fastest and most effective results.

So, if your running activity has been limited by pain, please give us a call for a FREE phone consultation at (610)327-2600. Also, visit our website at: Mishock Physical Therapy has 6 convenient locations to serve you in Skippack, Phoenixville, Gilbertsville, Limerick, Barto and Stowe!

Dr. Mishock is one of only a few clinicians with doctorate level degrees in both physical therapy and chiropractic in the state of PA.

New patient scheduling: 610-327-2600