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Physical Therapy for Running Injuries Our certified physical therapists do more than just get you back on your feet

At Specialized Orthopedic Physical Therapy, we do more than just treat sports injuries. You see, all of our PTs are athletes themselves, so they understand intimately what is at stake for your high school and collegiate athlete.

Time is critical

Every athlete wants to get back into the game to support his or her teammates, to compete for scholarships and championships, to be scouted by the pros. So we get you into the office immediately following your injury so we can diagnose and prescribe the right treatment as quickly as possible for a speedy recovery.

Prudence is necessary

While every athlete wants to jump back in as quickly as possible, we know that the top priority is long-term physical health. A few glory years on the field are not worth a lifetime of chronic pain and injuries. This is why we take the time to talk with you and your child, athlete to athlete, about the important decisions that need to be made regarding the injury, treatment, and continued play.

Future health is the goal

As long-time athletes, we know what the strains look like over the decades. This makes us particularly well-suited to help your child understand both the immediate and the long-term impact of the injury on his or her future health and well-being. We prescribe a PT regimen with the goal of establishing a lifetime of healthy physical activity.

Common Running Injuries

Running injuries are common not only to track runners and marathoners, but also to part-time and new runners, tough mudder competitors, weekend warriors, and they commonly occur when you either push yourself too hard or you run in bad conditions. However, they can also occur because of your own faulty running mechanics.

  • Runner’s Knee: worn-down cartilage on the underside of your patella causes pain around your kneecap. You may first feel little twinges when you start your run that may gradually become more severe and stabbing. You’ll also feel pain when you use the stairs, do squats, or sit with your leg bent for prolonged times.
  • Muscle Strain: small tears in your muscle caused by chronic overuse. These are most often felt in the quads, hamstrings, calves, and groin. More severe strains (large tears) can be accompanied by a loud “pop” immediately followed by severe pain with possible severe and diffuse bruising occurring within 24 hours.
  • Plantar Fasciitis: inflammation or small tears in the connective tissues that run from our heels to our toes, creating the arch of your foot. It often feels like a bruise or dull ache along your arch or heel and makes simple tasks such as walking painful.
  • Achilles Tendonitis: inflammation of the Achilles tendon that connects your heel to your calf muscles. Repetitive stress to this tendon will cause pain and stiffness with walking, running, and jumping.
    Stress Fracture: small microfractures in the bone caused by cumulative stress on the bone. These occur most often in the shins (tibia) and bones of the mid-foot.
  • Shin Splints: small tears in the muscles that surround your shin bone. Pain is very similar to a stress fracture of the shin bone and is often the initial warning signs that a stress fracture could occur if you continue to run on it.
  • IT Band Syndrome: irritation and inflammation of the connective tissue that runs from your hip along your outer thigh to your knee. Pain is caused when the tissue thickens and tightens due to overuse and rubs along the outside of the femur bone in the knee.

Is it Time for my Child to See a PT?

  • Quick diagnosis and treatment of an injury speeds your recovery time in most instances. Because most sports injuries are caused by overuse, extended periods of strain, and improper mechanics, identifying the injury is the first step to a full recovery.
  • Getting an immediate consultation with your PT allows us to diagnose the problem and quickly determine the severity of the injury. However, the idea of stopping all activity is rarely a popular decision with the athlete, so he or she may attempt to hide their injury from you.
  • Because our primary goal is the future health and well-being of our patients, we want to see your child as soon as you notice certain symptoms of strain and possible injury. These might include:
    • Limping or difficulty walking
    • Discomfort when sitting for prolonged periods
    • Stiff legs or knees when getting up
    • Unusual weakness while trying to lift or carry something
    • Pain strong enough to require pain medication more than 2 days in a row
    • Reduced physical performance

Remember, to see a physical therapist, you do NOT need to first see your PCP and receive a referral (unless your health insurance policy dictates otherwise). You have the right to see any PT you choose for treatment of your pain and injuries. Feel free to call our office and we can help you determine if a PCP referral is needed. (401) 384-6490