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SHIN SPLINTS VS. STRESS FRACTURES

8/28/18 10:48 AM

Shin splints refer to pain on the front, outer part of your shin that results from microtears in the muscles that surround the shin. They are more likely to occur in newer runners or those returning from extended time off, and are often related to a rapid increase in mileage, running on hard surfaces or inappropriate footwear. At the first sign of shin splints, it is best to back off on training mileage to a comfortable level and cross train with pool running, biking or elliptical until pain resolves and then increase mileage slowly according to the 10% rule. A physical therapist can help you to evaluate footwear, develop a training program with a safe increase in weekly mileage, teach you how to use elastic therapeutic taping to provide support to the shin muscles, and instruct you in exercises to strengthen muscles of the foot and lower leg. It is important to distinguish between shin splints and tibial stress fractures, as both can result in shin pain, however a stress fracture warrants immediate time off from running and weight bearing exercise for a minimum of 6-8 weeks to allow the bone to heal completely. Stress fractures are unlike a typical broken bone in that they don’t result from an acute injury but rather cumulative stress on the bone, usually from over-training.

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Written by Julie Berube, PT.

Julie is an Orthopedic Certified Specialist currently practicing as a Physical Therapist in our DeWitt location.

Topics: Runner's Knee, taping, Knee Pain, injury

PLANTAR FASCIITIS

8/16/18 10:20 AM

 

Pain experienced in the arch of the foot or underneath the heel is likely due to a strip of connective tissue known as the plantar fascia. This tissue attaches at the base of the heel and runs along the arch all the way up to the big toe, providing support to the arch and acting as a shock absorber during walking and running. With repeated tension and stress, it can undergo microtearing and become irritated and inflamed, resulting in plantar fasciitis. A hallmark sign of plantar fasciitis is stabbing pain in the arch with the first steps out of bed in the morning. It is more likely to occur in runners with very low or very high arch height, poor footwear, heavier weight, those that stand a lot for work or those that have ramped up training mileage too quickly. Self treatment can include rolling the foot over a frozen water bottle for 5 minutes several times a day, wearing a Strassburg sock at night to keep a stretch on the plantar fascia, and gently stretching the plantar fascia and calf muscles. A physical therapist can provide hands-on therapy, help to instruct you in the appropriate stretches if foot or calf tightness are present, evaluate if back issues, tight hip muscles or a weak core are changing your stride, identify appropriate footwear for your arch type, teach you how to use elastic therapeutic tape for arch support and recommend orthotics like Superfeet if you need something more supportive and permanent.

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Written by Julie Berube, PT.

Julie is an Orthopedic Certified Specialist currently practicing as a Physical Therapist in our DeWitt location.

Topics: taping, Runner's Knee, foot pain, injury

Achilles Tendonitis

8/2/18 11:22 AM


 

The Achilles tendon is the thick band of tissue at the back of the heel that connects the calf muscle to the heel. Achilles tendonitis occurs if that tendon becomes irritated and tightened due to chronic stress, usually from a dramatic increase in training mileage, and makes up 11% of running injuries according to a Runner’s World article. It’s best to address this type of injury right away because if the tendon becomes chronically irritated and

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Written by Julie Berube, PT.

Julie is an Orthopedic Certified Specialist currently practicing as a Physical Therapist in our DeWitt location.

Topics: Knee Pain, Runner's Knee, taping