As the summer and fall running season draws to a close, Victoria’s many athletes are turning their attention to figuring out ways to improve their performance for next spring. Many dedicated runners may also be recovering from injuries picked up over a busy race season.
Of course, Victoria’s year-round temperate climate means there really is no “off season” for runners here. However, with a break from major running events, the winter is a great time to get on top of some of the common running injuries that might be hampering your performance.
In order to help you get back to running more quickly, here are three common running injuries, what causes them, and some tips for getting back to running over the winter to prepare for next spring’s race season.
3 Common Running Injuries and What Causes Them
Nearly half of running injuries are knee injuries. With Runners Knee (patellofemoral pain syndrome), cartilage on the underside of the kneecap (patella) can be can become irritated and painful.
Those with weak quads, glutes, and hips are most at risk. Working with a physiotherapist to properly assess this condition and train these muscle groups can help alleviate this condition.
About 10 percent of all running injuries can be attributed to this condition, where a tight Achilles tendon becomes irritated. Generally speaking, runners who quickly increase training intensity tend to suffer from this condition.
The treatment? For one thing, stop training (including running and cycling) and frequently ice your calves. There are also specific exercises that can help you recover more quickly, such as heel drops. A personal trainer or physiotherapist can suggest what to do.
Plantar fasciitis, caused by small tears or inflammation of the tendons and ligaments that run from your heel to your toes, is a common and extremely painful injury reported by runners.
People with high arches, which cause the plantar fascia to be stretched away from the heel bone, are most susceptible to this condition. Interestingly, hip flexors and poor core body strength can contribute to plantar fasciitis.
Recovering from this injury can take months. It’s often best to refrain from running until you’re healed completely, and take up swimming and other low-impact, core-strengthening activities instead.
Of course, runners love to run, so a physiotherapist can suggest exercises that will help you get back to running more quickly.
The Power of an Integrated Approach to Healing
If you’re suffering from an injury that is preventing you from running, try seeking help from a healthcare practitioner instead of attempting to heal on your own.
For example, a physiotherapist can create a personalized treatment program designed for your body, lifestyle and goals – every treatment plan is different depending on the athlete.
It’s also a good idea to seek treatment at a truly integrated healthcare clinic, where physiotherapists, personal trainers, and other specialized practitioners all work together to share information about the same patient.
This integrated approach provides you with access to a team of different practitioners whose special insights and treatments help you heal faster.
Synergy actually operates three distinct clinics at our Quadra and McKenzie location in Victoria: a Health Centre for recovery and injury treatment, a Wellness Centre for improving and maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle, and a Specialist Centre offering rehabilitation and neurology.
The benefit? The “synergy” of effort helps so we can quickly and holistically adjust treatments to help you get better faster.