Running injuries and how osteopathy could help

Many of our clients have taken up running this year. Some have joined local clubs, some are following a couch to 5K and others are set on completing a marathon.

Running has become more and more popular and for good reason. It requires little equipment, bar some decent running shoes, it requires no costly gym membership and it means you get to explore the great outdoors.

Running related injuries and sprains are however common. The key thing to focus on, and this is where being part of a club or using an app can help, is to gradually increase distance and pace. Invest in some good foot wear, warming up and cooling down are also vital for success. Looking at and working on running technique can also make a huge difference. A running club may help with this or a PT.

Here we explore some common running injuries and look at how osteopathy could help.

Common running injuries

Plantar fasciitis

This presents as pain under the sole of the foot and towards the heel. It is often linked to over working the muscles, poor training techniques, poor footwear, change of footwear or change of terrain. Again here it is important to gradually increase distance and pace and ensure muscles are prepared for action, by keeping flexible and mobile.

Runners Knee

This presents as a dull aching pain under the kneecap, or central over the knee and is often associated with long distance runners. The causes of it are many and varied from trauma to the kneecap, to weak muscles, mal-aligned kneecap, flat feet and inadequate stretching.

Patella tendinopathy

Or jumpers knee, occurs when there is damage to the tendon from the bottom of the patella to the shin. Common reasons for it include, excess running, poor technique, poor stretch routines and trauma.

Shin Splints

Pain occurs anywhere along the length of the shin and is commonly due to overuse, poor technique, poor footwear or poor foot mechanics. 

Osteopathy for running injuries

A visit to an osteopath can be of benefit to runners for many reasons as we outline below. 

1- The osteopath will be able to make a thorough assessment of the injury, inform you what is likely to be causing your symptoms and formulate a course of action for you. This may involve hands on treatment with them and could also involve referral if needed. Osteopathic treatment may involve massage, mobilisation, stretching, fascial work and resistance work, but may also include, based on the osteopaths additional training, things like electrotherapy, acupuncture, cupping, taping and laser work. 

2- The osteopath will be looking to assess how your body is functioning as a whole unit and how running is impacting upon it. They may then advise on changes and adjustments to training, stretch routines, strengthening programs and general lifestyle adaptations. 

3- They will often know local people who can help you further and can help to achieve your goals. This may include orthotic prescription, gait analysis, personal training, running clubs etc. Some osteopaths may have access to a lot of these things in-house, others may have experienced local contacts. 

For more information about osteopathy and how it may help you, click here 

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