Common Running Injuries

By: Dr. Christopher  Genn, DPT

The most common running injuries I see as a physical therapist are: patellar tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, ITB syndrome, and FPPS. My assessment process of the individual patient includes the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA), developed by Gray Cook and others. This assessment tool looks at 10 fundamental movement patterns to differentiate between dysfunctional and functional movements. Then I further investigate to determine limitations in mobility, stability, and motor control. This approach takes into account the concept of regional interdependence. In other words, how one body part impacts another part.
All of the running injuries stated above are repetitive in nature. Our goal during the evaluation process, is to determine what the root cause of the pain is. This is not always an obvious answer. It is important to visit your physical therapist and movement specialist to determine the right plan of action.

In addition to treating the findings of the SFMA, we need to address the pain. We do so in the following ways…

Manual techniques including:
Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM)
Ankle, tibia, patellar, hip, sacral mobilization
Cross friction massage
Massage techniques
Myofascial release

Manually resisted proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF):
Rest from aggravating activity
Footwear/technique
Terrain
Training error (too much, too soon)
Foam Roll
Ice massage

And most important… get it evaluated by a physical therapist as soon as you start feeling something wrong! If you let it go, it only gets worse, and then recovery takes longer. Don’t let a small problem become a big one. We treat the entire person, not just the point of pain.

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