Running Injuries and the Value of a Running Assessment
If there is one thing we know, it’s that people love running! Whether it’s just on the weekend or as a dedicated runner, it can be a very fulfilling, but also a very challenging. Your desire to move faster and more efficiently can create stresses on your body that lead to numerous running related injuries. Unfortunately, some of these injuries can result in being sidelined and unable to enjoy your what you love for extended periods of time while you heal.
So, to help you run more efficiently, faster and without any pain, a running assessment can go a long way to helping you stay injury free and get you running at peak performance. Examining the way your body moves as you run can provide us with knowledge that allows us to help you recover quickly from any existing injuries and prevent further injuries. We often find that small changes to your running technique can have you running better with little effort and more efficiency.
Some of the frequent injuries we have observed in runners include:
- Heel, shin, foot and ankle pains.
- Lower back pain, stress fractures and shin splints.
- Planar fasciitis, hip bursitis and iliotibial band injuries.
- Patella tendonitis and Achilles tendon pain.
So, what does a running assessment look like and how can it help you?
We commerce our assessment by taking a complete history of your running. This includes any previous and current injuries, how often you run and the distances you cover, and most importantly we discuss the goals you want to achieve.
Then we assess how your body moves when you run, checking your foot stroke, cadence, stride length, flexibility, strength, alignment and many more features of your running gait. So after some testing in the physio room and gym to screen your bodies strength, flexibility and joint mobility, we need to then put you to your paces and see how you run!
We do this in two ways. The first is by video analysis of you running on a treadmill where we can look at your lower body mechanics to see if anything jumps out as a reason you may be experience pain or discomfort when you run or even just not having the running efficiency you desire. The second, and the most important way we assess you is in your usual running environment. This is because you run differently on a treadmill, as opposed to a running track, park or path. To get the most out of a running assessment, we need to observe how you run in your usual running environment and the stresses that impact your body in order to improve your performance.
Once we have a more complete picture of how you move and where your discrepancies are, we can now make a game plan for you. Since a technique that helps one runner optimise their running might hinder another runner’s performance, we create individualised programs for each of our clients. So, once we know where we can make some adjustments to your running then it’s time to implement strategies to get you where you want to be. Whether you need some specific strengthening, or some changes to your running technique, we help guide you through strength and conditioning, and running mechanics drills to achieve your goal of running more efficiently and staying injury free.