As runners we all wish that we could just run and never have pain or injury. But sometimes that just doesn't happen. Sometimes accidents happen, life catches up, or we just get carried away with our training and then injury creeps in. There are several injuries that are common among runners. In our first common running injuries post we discussed runners knee and IT band syndrome. The common running injuries that we will discuss today are a hamstring strain and plantar fasciitis. [....]
3. Hamstring Strain
Hamstring strains, also known as a pulled hamstring or hamstring injury, are common among runners. Hamstring strains may be caused by the sudden or violent stretch of the hamstring muscle, which causes a lot of stress or rapid extensive contraction. This may result in various degrees of ruptures within the fibers of the musculotendinous unit (where the muscle becomes tendon). Hamstring strains are common among runners and may be more common for those that run on treadmill. This is due to the fact something called reciprocal inhibition.
What causes a pulled hamstring? Hamstring muscle strains are often of obscure origin. Many hamstring strains occur when the hamstring is contracting eccentrically (lengthening) to stop flexion of the hip and extension of the lower leg, which causes the hamstring to be at maximum tension. Strong contraction of the hamstring and relaxation of the quadriceps is needed during this activity, a break down in the coordination of these two muscles can often lead to the hamstring tear. During high speed running the greatest stretch the musculotendinous junction (where the muscle becomes tendon) is incurred by the biceps femoris or the largest hamstring muscle, which is why it is more often injured in the other two hamstring muscles.
What is the treatment for a hamstring injury? The main goal of rehab of a hamstring injury is to restore the runner to the highest level of function and to return the athlete or runner to sport at their previous level of performance while minimizing the risk of injury. Hamstring strain injuries can be challenging for runners given their high incident rate, they’re slow healing, and persistent symptoms. Eccentric exercises are absolutely necessary not only for the recovery of a hamstring strain, but also for the prevention of future hamstring injuries. A program that includes agility and trunk stabilization exercises is more effective than rather just doing hamstring isolated stretching and strengthening alone. Deep stripping massage is a great technique to help rehab a torn hamstring. Dry needling is another great technique that has been reported to be beneficial, not only for the management of pain but also dysfunction after the muscle strain, as well as improving recovery time. Hamstring strains can be tricky because they can vary on severity, disability, and the impairment of function, so seeking out a professional could be key to returning to running sooner, as well as not ending up injured again.
4. Plantar Fasciitis
A common overuse injury among runners is what we call plantar fasciitis, which may often be called plantar fasciosis, or plantar heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is often not actually an inflammation problem or an inflammatory condition, so it’s probably more appropriately referred to as planter fasciosis, but we sill stick with plantar fasciitis due to its more common use. This condition often commonly presents with pain first thing in the morning, after long periods of not bearing weight, limited dorsiflexion or upward motion of the ankle, a tight Achilles tendon, and limping may be present or two walking. Pain may be increased when: not wearing shoes, walking on hard surfaces, climbing stairs, and a sudden increase in activity level prior to the onset of symptoms is common.
What causes plantar fasciitis? There are many factors that may contribute to plantar heel pain or plantar fasciitis, such as loss of ankle dorsiflexion, improper shoe fit, excessive pronation of the foot, deformities of the foot (such as flat feet or a high arch), impact weight-bearing activities such as standing too long or running, and a sudden increase in activity (i.e. running too many miles to fast/a poor training program).
What’s included in plantar fasciitis treatment? Some of the most common treatments include stretching of the calf muscles and the plantar fascia, orthotics, specific plantar fasciitis exercises, night splinting, dry needling of the calf and plantar fascia, and mobilization or manipulation of the foot and ankle joints. Progressive loading to eventually high load strength training of the plantar fascia is often an effective treatment of plantar fasciitis. Hands-on treatment and soft tissue work by physical therapist is also very effective. Plantar fasciitis can be very difficult injury to overcome, therefore, seeking out professional help is often indicated. High healed shoes can also contribute to plant plantar fasciitis, because it tightens the calf and limits the ankle mobility, so selecting proper shoes can help with plantar fasciitis.
In summary, hamstring strains can be tricky and can seemingly come back out of nowhere if not healed properly. Plantar fasciitis can be tricky and long lasting. I would highly recommend that you seek professional help. Just CLICK BELOW.
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