How to stay free of pain and injuries as a runner Running continues to gain popularity as a form of exercise, and for good reason – it’s an effective antidote to the modern sedentary lifestyle, it doesn’t require any special equipment and it delivers a dopamine boost. But on a far less happy note, statistics show that nearly 80% of all runners are injured every year. The repetitive force involved in running can put immense strain on the feet and legs, causing a number of common injuries.
Mark Lin , the Principal Sports Podiatrist and Director for Footwork Podiatry, comments, “We see a lot of runners at our clinics, located in Sydney’s CBD and Roseville, with various injuries – these are often due to not warming up properly and too rigorous a training schedule. Yes, fitness is important, but the joints of the feet and legs absorb a lot of impact during running and it’s vital to give them a rest.
Conditions like Achilles tendinitis are very common, this occurs when the tendons connecting the heel to the lower leg muscles become inflamed. This can be caused by improper footwear, tight calf muscles or having naturally flat feet and can be avoided to some extent by a proper stretching and strengthening programme of the calf muscles.
Runners knee, or Patellofemoral pain syndrome, refers to pain in the front of the knee and around the kneecap, and is generally caused either by maltracking of the kneecap and/or overuse from vigorous exercise.”
Other conditions that runners can suffer from are Morton’s neuroma, Metatarsalgia, Metatarsal stress fractures, Shin splints, plantar fasciitis, calf muscle strain or tear and ankle sprain. Morton’s neuroma – a painful condition that occurs as a result of the thickening of the tissue surrounding one of the nerves leading to the toes.
Shin splints – amongst the most common of running injuries, this occurs when the muscles, tendons, or the fascia covering the shinbone become inflamed and sore.
Metatarsalgia – characterised by painful inflammation in the forefoot (ball of the foot) as a result of increased pressure in this area.
Metatarsal stress fractures – tiny cracks in the bone, these are a sure sign of too much repetitive force on the leg bones.
An occurrence of any of these conditions is an indicator that there are some biomechanical issues going on that have put the feet and legs under too much strain, and seeing a sports podiatrist is recommended.
Footwork Podiatry offers a range of alternative, non-invasive, and safe treatment techniques to treat the above conditions, along with specifically prescribed exercises to relieve symptoms as well as retraining the feet and legs to run in a more efficient pattern Foot mobilisation is a ‘hands-on’ treatment technique that diagnoses and corrects misalignment of the foot and ankle. It increases the range of joint mobility, improves proprioceptive feedback from the feet and reduces ‘pain messages’ sent to the brain by stimulating the joint mechanoreceptors.
Active Release Techniques removes the build-up of scar tissue that occurs when the body tries to heal itself from an injury. Accumulation of scar tissue restricts the muscle from movement, causing it to becomes both shorter and weaker. The increased tension on tendons causes tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped. ART® provides lasting relief for repetitive strain or overuse injuries and the technique is suitable for anyone, including from children, athletes and the elderly.
Low-Level Laser therapy (LLLT) is another effective treatment for a soft-tissue injury. Laser treatment penetrates deep into the tissue causing a photochemical reaction at a cellular level. This metabolic change is highly effective in stimulating tissue repair and relieving pain, and the treatment dramatically shortens recovery time and rapidly reduces swelling and inflammation.
“At Footwork Podiatry, we incorporate laser therapy into our treatment protocols to promote and accelerate tissue healing of a wide range of acute and chronic lower limb conditions. Combined with other corrective care treatments, such as Foot Mobilisation Techniques and Trigenics®, we address the underlying cause of the problem for long-term results. LLLTis non-invasive, eye-safe, totally painless and often immediately analgesic,” says Lin.
Footwork Podiatry takes top-quality care seriously and is your go-to source for any running related injuries. Find them in two convenient locations, in Roseville on Sydney’s North Shore and Sydney CBD. For further information, visit the Sports and Podiatrist Clinic to book online , or call Mark Lin or Wei Lee and their friendly team on +61 2 9416 7889.
The information contained in this guide is provided in good faith and is not intended to be nor is it to be used as a substitute for any sort of professional, medical or podiatric advice. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a podiatrist. Any users should always seek the advice of their podiatrist, or other qualified healthcare providers before commencing any treatment.
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