How Physical Therapy Can Help You Run the Right Way

The arrival of warmer weather draws more people to be active outside. Running is a relatively simple, cost-effective way to stay active in the warmer months! However, it’s easy to run incorrectly. Running takes a harsh toll if your shoes, your gait, or your running style are unsuitable for your unique body make-up, schedule, and environment. Studies show that a majority of runners—as many as 65%—will get an injury related to running in a given year. When a person is training for a marathon, that number increases to 90%.

Of these injuries, 42% are knee injuries—there’s a reason everyone has heard of runner’s knee! Runner’s knee, also known generally as patellofemoral pain syndrome, is an overuse injury that describes pain at the front of the knee—where your patella or kneecap sits. Plenty of other body parts are at risk, too. 20% of injuries are likely to take place at the hip or pelvis, 17% in the foot or ankle, 13% in the lower leg. Physical therapists who specialize in orthopedic conditions, like those at Rebalance Physical Therapy, can help you recover from running-related injuries and teach you how to avoid the trouble in the first place.

The reasons for running-related injuries are numerous. You can hurt yourself by increasing your mileage too quickly, changing the terrain or your workout regimen, or from a poor choice of footwear. Oftentimes, people just buy the cheapest available option and then put an excessive number of miles on a pair of sneakers that are meant to last about 200 miles, maximum. Poor coaching and form can be a problem too, leading to training mistakes. Or the issue could be a musculoskeletal imbalance. For example, certain muscles can be too tight or certain muscles can be weak, leading to muscular compensations elsewhere in the body.

Our physical therapists at Rebalance can mitigate and defend against these injuries. Often, traditional medicine looks at the site of the injury in isolation from its context. Knee injuries, for instance, are usually the result of an imbalance above or below the knee, in the pelvis, or foot, instead of a dysfunction at the knee itself. Experienced physical therapists can help pinpoint which muscles are weak, and which muscles are the root cause of your problems. We can teach you relatively simple strengthening routines—for example, the Myrtl Routine to strengthen your hips—and we will analyze your gait to see if you are carrying yourself in an unhealthy way while running. You don’t need to continue hurting yourself to be a strong or successful runner. With a few training sessions at Rebalance Physical Therapy, you can be both healthy and pain-free.

The easiest and most direct way to help you perfect your running is to visit us in-person if you live in or around Philadelphia, PA! If you’re not near Philadelphia, we also offer Telehealth consultations. These Telehealth consults are a way for our therapists to personalize your treatment and give you recommendations and referrals to manage and treat your injuries.

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