We are still very early into the New Year and already we have seen some keen runners here in Manchester Osteopaths.

Running is a great activity and enjoyed by many, including myself though very much a part timer.

Whether you are a conditioned runner looking to take it up a level, or you have been talked into a 10k or even a marathon by your friend you could experience these injuries.

This is by no way a full list and it’s certainly not an alternative to treatment it’s a guide to help you achieve your goal, remember if in doubt call us it’s what we do.

 Ilio-Tibial Band Injury.

Ilio-Tibial injury or ITB problems as they are known refers to the outside of the leg, a long stretch of connective tissue tissue, running from your buttocks down along the outside of the thigh to the knee, throughout the body there is a continuous layer of this connective tissue referred to as fascia.

ITB injury is quite common with runners and often associated with overuse.

As the ITB is predominantly a length of fibrous tissue it is associated with other components such as your foot mechanics, hip movement and musculature particularly the gluteals muscles and lowerback.

When you have a ITB injury, usually its hypertonic (very tight) it can become painful, stretching is a must to help reduce the pressure and tension, the surrounding muscles also need assessing and treating such as the Gluteal muscles (buttocks) Quads (thighs) and Hamstring (back of upper leg).

To compliment the stretching, foam rolling is another good way to reduce tension. Initially using a foam roller can be painful so it may be wise to start with a softer foam roller and not jumping straight onto a hard nobly one.

Achilles Tendonitis.

The Achilles is a large and very strong tendon that attaches your calf muscles (gastrocnemius & soleus) to the heel.

The Achilles is placed under a lot of stress due to its connection increasing with running and jumping etc, if the calf is tight due to over-use, explosive change in movement, lack of stretching, poor footwear then additional tension is placed onto the Achilles.

Achilles tendonitis can be felt as pain around the back of the ankle, pain in the calf that can be there intermittently or constant with certain activities.

Tendonitis can be felt at different stages; you may be suffering with pain after running, whilst running, or simply weight bearing when walking and at rest.

With Achilles tendonitis you need to address the reason it’s occurred and also to treat the pain, Icing can help reduce the inflammation and pain, simply ice the tendon 2-3 times per day for between 5-10 minutes.

Stretching the leg muscles particularly the calf will reduce the tension it is placed under.

Achilles tendonitis requires assessment, treatment and rehabilitation as soon as possible, particularly if you are training for a competition or some other event, as you don’t want the symptoms persisting for a long time- especially if you are training for a specific event.

Plantar Fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis refers to pain experienced under the foot due to an inflammatory condition of the fascia; this is the connective tissue on the sole of the foot. It can be a very painful condition often felt greater in the morning.

Some common symptoms are; a sharp stabbing pain or deep ache in the arch of your foot or in the middle of the bottom of your heel.

Stiffness or pain first thing in the morning, particularly those first steps getting out of bed, though this tends to lessen as joints get a little mobile and start to warm up, symptoms can increase during the day with fatigue and weight bearing, again depending on activities.

Climbing the stairs or standing on one’s toes can be painful; if you are running it may ease slightly at first and then return towards the end.

Fascia can become inflamed for different reasons involving increased tension during different activities though more commonly with running, there are other influential factors to consider such as weight, age or bio-mechanical issues such as flat feet/fallen arches, knee conditions and hip/back issues.

Some self help you can implement is using a roller under foot to help the tension, if it’s really inflamed freeze a small bottle of water and use it like a roller under your foot 2-3 times per day for between 5-10 minutes.

Stretch the leg muscles help the body function better and reduce the tension the foot is placed under.

How can Manchester Osteopaths help?

Firstly you need a correct diagnosis, your friends, family and internet don’t always give you the right answers, you also need to be careful of re-occurrence of injuries.

Secondly a full assessment of the area concerned and the surrounding muscles, joints with an in-depth investigation into how things are moving or not, what pressure is being placed the on injured area and why.

Treatment will involve massage and soft tissue work to reduce tension within the muscles, tendons and fascia, mobility to joints to correct any restrictions in movement.

Stretching, compresses and strapping may be utilised to assist recovery of the tissue.

Rehabilitation exercises discussed/demonstrated to address imbalances and improve function.

Causative factors such as training methods, equipment and shoes are looked at. Examining pre/post   training to prevent injury and assist recovery, where necessary integrate cross training to balance workouts, i.e. strength training or flexibility work.

With running the whole body is involved from your gait and movement to your posture, treating the area will help with pain and recovery, however you need to understand your lifestyle and activities asking the question is my body fit for purpose, and are your training accordingly.

Understanding what you do, how you do it and why you do it will give a longer lasting involvement in the sports you love to do, knowing Manchester Osteopaths helps you when things do go wrong, assessment, treatment, rehabilitation and advice.