Q. I like to run for exercise. How do I avoid getting hurt, or worse, getting injured?
A. I read in a recent professional journal that at least 65-75 percent of all runners are hurt or injured at some point in time while running. Injury due to overuse is more common than traumatic injury. Evidence-based factors that contribute to the development of an injury include running with no prior running experience (three times more likely), increasing mileage too rapidly (>10 percent/ week or >10 miles per week), and running with an incomplete recovery from a preexisting injury. Other factors that put you at risk of injury include poor alignment of the leg, excessive or prolonged pronation, decreased flexibility, poor cadence and asymmetries. It’s important to treat the underlying problem and not just the symptom of pain. A musculoskeletal evaluation to determine length/tension relationships of your muscles can help with flexibility concerns and muscle recruitment patterns. In turn, a corrective exercise prescription can be prescribed to address any “deficits” or problem areas. At Summit Physical Therapy, we can perform a video running analysis in our clinic, which enables us to determine the proper shoes to be worn as well as the proper running style to avoid biomechanical flaws that lead to injuries. Biomechanical flaws increase the repetitive stresses that running can cause, and ultimately lead to injury. Simply removing yourself from running will only temporarily decrease your symptoms. By systematically finding the true root of the problem, a corrective program can be put in place.
Kevin Kostka, P.T., D.P.T., P.E.S.
Summit Physical Therapy
SportsBarn North Hixson
1790 Hamill Road
Hixson, TN 37343