Runners tend to be more prone to injuries and ailments due to the constant strains placed upon their joints. Some common examples include shin splints, stress fractures, problems with the Achilles region and tendinitis. How can physiotherapy help runners get back on their feet so that they can continue this healthy habit?
The Advantages of Running-Related Physiotherapy Techniques
It is first important to mention that one of the key tenets of physiotherapy involves strengthening the muscles around a specific injured area. For example, a runner who has a knee injury will often focus on muscles such as the quadriceps and the hamstrings. The theory is that stronger muscles will be able to take the pressure off of the affected area; thus promoting quicker healing times. Another point to highlight is that this strength tends to remain once the treatment has been completed. The patient will therefore be much less likely to suffer from a similar injury in the future. So, physiotherapy can also be considered a preventative measure.
Range of Motion and Flexibility
A sizeable portion of common running injuries will result from poor flexibility or embracing the improper stretching techniques. If we assume that a runner has been immobile for a period of time, the chances are high that his or her muscles would have grown tighter. Physiotherapy provides targeted methods intended to increase flexibility as well as the overall range of motion. This is beneficial for two reasons. First, greater levels of flexibility will help to stave off injuries while providing more blood flow to the affected area. Secondly, pliable muscles provide stabilisation advantages. Both of these are once again critical in decreasing healing times while preventing future incidents.
A Cost-Effective Option
Physiotherapy embraces an entirely holistic approach when treating a running injury. Some of the common methods include (but might not be limited to):
- Professionally-assisted stretching and strengthening routines.
- Providing advice on posture, exercise regimens and obtaining the appropriate amount of rest.
- The use of electrical muscle stimulation to promote healing.
- Monitoring the progress of the injury as it improves with time.
All of these techniques are much more cost-effective options than an invasive surgery and in the majority of cases, healing times are dramatically reduced. Of course, only a trained professional will be able to determine the best route forward.
Modern physiotherapy can provide a wealth of options to those who may be suffering from a variety of injuries. This is the main reason why doctors will often opt for this method as opposed to choosing traditional surgical procedures. So, participating in an upcoming marathon may be more of a reality than you believed!