Summer Running Injuries – Physical Therapy Can Help

| Dr. Eva Norman


Those who enjoy running for exercise need to aware of what their body is trying to tell them at all times. Listening to your body will tell you when you need to back off or rest because of overuse of certain muscles, ligaments, tendons and even bones. There are certain injuries that are common to runners[1], many of which can be treated by one of our physical therapists.

Common Running Injuries/Problems

  • Sprains/Strains/Pulled Muscles – While this is a general statement that covers a multitude of injuries, it includes many listed below.
  • Plantar Fasciitis – Probably one of the most common foot injuries among the general population, including non-runners, is Plantar Fasciitis. 15% running injuries are foot injuries. Download our pdf on Foot Health For Runners here!
  • Knee Pain – 40% of runners’ injuries are knee injuries. “Runner’s Knee” or PFPS (Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome) as it is often referred to medically, occurs when the cartilage under the kneecap becomes irritated.
  • Tendinitis – Achilles Tendinitis is one of the most common types of tendinitis runner’s experience; but tendinitis can occur throughout the legs, arms, & include ankle pain. Achilles tendinitis accounts for 11% of runner’s injuries.
  • Shin Splints – Shin Splints actually make up 15% of running injuries and occur when the muscles around the shin tears.
  • Hamstring Pulls/Tears – We utilize the hamstring to give the legs strength and push the body as we run.
  • ITBS or Iliotibial Band Syndrome – The IT band runs from the hip to the knee, alongside the outer thigh. ITBS occurs when the band rubs against the femur causing irritation. Approximately 12% of running injuries are ITBS.

The one thing that most every one of these injuries has in common is that proper physical therapy can reduce pain and decrease chances of further injury. In some cases physical therapy alone can decrease the inflammation and strengthen the runner so that they can get back to their typical routine without ever having invasive surgery. Various treatment interventions such as icing the area, daily stretching, strengthening exercises, kinesio taping and other techniques can be utilized. In some cases you will have to decrease or stop running all together until your body heals fully. Some conditions and injuries may require surgery; however, physical therapy can also help in a speedier recovery from surgery and help lessen the pain. It is important that you pay close attention to your body and listen to what it is telling you. Aches, pains, and swelling are all signs of overuse or injury and should be addressed immediately.

Live Your Life Physical Therapy not only has physical therapists who utilize evidence-based treatment interventions but, we also have therapists who are runners themselves. Because we understand what you’re going through as a runner who wants to get back to your daily routine we know what you need and how to create an individualized program to get you moving again. We want you to Live Your Life RUNNING PAIN FREE! Call us today so we can come to you and evaluate your needs. Once we’ve fully assessed your particular needs we can put together a customized program to get you on the mend and up and running.


Dedicated to Keeping You Healthy & Active,

Dr. Eva Norman
President & Founder
Doctor of Physical Therapy

Jogging Couple Photo Courtesy of Elvert Barnes via Flickr per Open Licensing Agreements

[1] Runner’s World Magazine – “The Big 7 Body Break Downs” by Christie Aschwanden, 2/3/11

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