Comprehensive Assessment Of Your Running Injury
Whether you are just starting out on a Couch to 5k program, training for an Ultra Marathon, enjoy attending the ParkRun or prefer to get off road for some Trail Running we can help.
At ProMOTION Physiotherapy we have a passion for treating runners. Our physiotherapists have completed extensive training with some of the top running injury experts in the world and love the challenge of keeping our runners on track and free from injury.
It is important to establish the root cause of a running injury. Sometimes this can be easy – the dog on the cycle path ran straight into my knee or I slipped on a root in Corstorphine Hill and rolled my ankle. Sometimes it can be more difficult – “my injury seems to have come out of nowhere…I’ve just been doing my normal training….I’ve not changed anything”.
Whether the cause is obvious or not, our physiotherapists at ProMOTION Physiotherapy will take the patient through a comprehensive assessment to establish the background to an injury/ problem and then work out the best way to proceed in terms of getting the athlete back on the roads, trails, track or hills.
The physiotherapist will investigate many areas of the patients’ training including workload (volume and frequency), cadence, type of training (hills/ speed/ intervals), cross-training, rest, footwear and previous injuries – is it new, flare-up of an existing issue or on-going problem. Also, any changes in training will be discussed – we see some folk who have recently altered their foot strike pattern or increased the number of days they run as they have an upcoming event and they are playing catch-up on their training.
All runners have different routines, likes and dislikes so we like to look at the big picture to then allow us to zoom into the parts of the story that might be contributing to an injury or increase in pain.
This above assessment might even happen before the nitty-gritty of examining the existing issue. When we move onto this we discuss – symptoms, ability to continue running, recovery between runs, is it improving / worsening? So, we can gain a wealth of information about the injury, how it may have occurred and how it will be best treated even before we do a physical assessment of the area. As you can see our focus is to figure out what may be contributing to the issue but we are always considering how to get this runner back doing what they love to do…RUN.
The physical assessment of the injury will depend on many things. It will be individualised to the athlete by the physiotherapist and the nature of the assessment will depend on the outcome of the initial discussion detailed above.
Some patients will still be running, some won’t. Some will not have run for months, some will have a niggle after a 10km, personal best the day before. Every patient is different and will be treated as an individual and given a bespoke, progressive treatment and rehabilitation plan/ programme.
The results of the physical assessment will be discussed with the patient so they are aware of the (i) reasons for any pain/ injury, (ii) what the diagnosis is (iii) what will be involved in resolving the issue and (iv) a good idea of how long it should take to resolve.
Types Of Running Injuries We Commonly See in Our Clinic
There are a variety of aches and pains that runners attend ProMOTION Physiotherapy for. These are mainly lower limb injuries that may have resulted from trauma (e.g. slips or trips) or from changes to training routine. We do commonly see problems with the foot and ankle including Achilles Tendinopathy, calf strains and Planter Fasciitis. Other common injuries that we see are Patella Tendinopathies, lateral hip pain and low back pain.
Video Running Analysis On Our Treadmill
Our team is trained to analyse a patient when running. We perform this analysis in our rehabilitation space where we have a treadmill and capacity to record the runner from various angles. Often, we can spot some simple issues that can be resolved with simple interventions but mostly there are some subtleties involved that can contribute to the problem/ pain that we can only see on Slow-mo or when moving the video frame by frame.
We share our thoughts and observations with the patient so that any changes/ interventions in a rehabilitation programme will make sense – the patient will get specific rehabilitation based on the findings of the overall assessment rather than a random group of exercises that may or may not help.
Specific Treatment For Your Injury
Our physiotherapists undergo continued professional development and remain au fait with the latest research in order to help provide the most up-to-date, research-based treatments/ interventions for each condition we encounter.
Many of our patients will receive ‘hands-on’ manual therapy, massage, joint mobilisations, taping (offloading/ kinesiology taping), and acupuncture where appropriate. Some will have their training programmes adjusted (once agreed with the patient). And ALL patients will get some work to do to help get them better sooner. Quite often this work will be easy to do at home and can be adapted for patients who attend a gym.
Specific Strength Training and Exercise Programs
Lots of runners have a group of trusted stretches/ strength exercises that they have always done. Lots of runners just like to run and do not partake in any other training or warm-ups. We will not make changes to programmes lightly and will explain the need to do specific exercises. Some runners want lots and others want as few as possible. Our aim is to give you the biggest ‘bang for your buck’ …why do twenty exercises when you can achieve the same outcome with three? Your physiotherapist will be able to explain why you are being prescribed a certain strength exercise it will be based upon their on-going assessment of your injury.
These exercises/ rehabilitation programmes will be progressive in nature as you improve with the aim to (i) get you back to training, then competing (if you compete) and (ii) endeavour to keep you injury free moving forward.
Advice on Running Technique Modification (if required)
There are occasions where the physiotherapist will offer advice based on their assessment, and discuss with the patient, about their running style. Frequently, some simple modifications can un-load or de-stress the soft tissue / bone stress and allow the patient to get running again pain-free. Quite often any modifications will also require some strengthening work to allow the changes to be successful quickly. Any modifications are then re-assessed after a few weeks to see if the patient can maintain any changes.
If you are a runner in need of help then why not book an appointment online.