If you run for long enough, you may eventually find yourself with an overuse injury such as shin splints, runner's knee, or plantar fasciitis. Many runners try to treat and manage these conditions on their own. Sometimes, they are successful, but self-care is not always the wisest option when it comes to running injuries. Physical therapists are often happy to treat runners, and there are some very real benefits to seeing a physical therapist the next time you develop an overuse injury due to running.
You'll strengthen weak areas that contributed to the injury.
Overuse injuries do not just come out of nowhere. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments that are the weakest are most likely to be injured. Sometimes, a weak muscle can allow the tendon attached to it to become injured, too. Identifying which tissues are weak is not always easy, but this is something that physical therapists are trained to do. Once they figure out where your weakness is, they can prescribe exercises that will help strengthen those areas. This approach will not only help your current injury heal but will also help prevent you from re-injuring that area later on. If you don't want to be a runner who is battling shin splints or runner's knee season after season, see a physical therapist the first time one of these injuries develops.
You'll be told whether it's safe to run.
Should you take time off, or should you train through it? Should you cut back your mileage, or just take your miles easier? Runners ask themselves these sorts of questions often when they are injured. If you choose incorrectly, you could end up delaying your recovery. A physical therapist will let you know how much is safe to do with your current injury. This way, you won't cut back on training unnecessarily, but you also won't keep running when rest would have been the best thing.
You may be referred to an orthopedist.
Physical therapists can help runners with most injuries. But sometimes, an injury may be outside of their wheelhouse. For example, if they think you have a stress fracture, that is something they will refer you to an orthopedist to treat. Seeing a physical therapist is a great, low-barrier way to start the process of seeking medical care for a running injury.
Runners can fight through a lot, but it's usually best to see someone when you're injured. For more information on physical therapy services, contact a professional near you.Share
5 April 2023
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