Whether you are a competitive runner or simply using running to keep up with your fitness, making sure you prevent injuries and are able to improve your performances should be your priorities. In this article, we will explore how runners could benefit from osteopathy, and what to do to prevent injuries.
Taking part in physical activity can help prevent chronic diseases, reduce cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality as well as have a positive impact on your overall mental health. However, when it comes to running, it is important to pay attention to your form in order to prevent injury.
Running injuries can be directly caused by the activity itself or by compensatory patterns due to dysfunctions elsewhere such as the back, the hips etc. Osteopathy aims to find the root of the problem rather than the symptoms. Osteopaths treat the body as a whole in order to allow the body to restore its balance. Treating the whole body, the symptoms as well as any dysfunctions contributing to the injuries, allows to minimise the “time-out” from training and can help the runner become more aware of their own body.
By looking at the anatomy as well as the mechanic of the body, the osteopath can help prevent further injuries.
What can cause injuries when running?
Lack of warm-up/stretching routine
Common running injuries:
Patello-femoral syndrome: one of the most common injuries causing anterior knee pain. Also known as “runner’s knee”.
Iliotibial band syndrome: results in lateral knee pain. Occurs more commonly in competitive runners.
Achilles tendinopathy: usually occurs through repetitive use and common in active individuals. Pain usually occurs around the posterior aspect of the heel, and the tendon is tender on palpation.
Shin splints: medial shin pain usually caused by excessive strain on the tibia.
Plantar fasciitis: inflammation of the fascia located under the foot. It is often associated with tightness in the calf muscles.
These are the most common running injuries, however, you may find there are many others which osteopathy can help with.
Benefits of osteopathy:
Restores homeostatic function (the ability for the body to self heal)
Holistic approach, treating the whole body including the injury in order for the body to find its balance again
Non-invasive manual therapy
Preventative care (for injuries)
How to prevent running injuries?
In order to prevent injuries, runners should make sure their training is increased gradually in intensity and volume and plan enough recovery times between training sessions. Runners should also wear appropriate footwear. In case of any imbalances within the body, in the muscles or joints etc, seeking for osteopathic treatment as well as having an individually planned strengthening and flexibility program can help prevent further injuries.
In case of an injury, seeking a diagnosis with the osteopath can help optimise the recovery period and allows to start training pain-free again.