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Running Injuries due to Wear and Tear

A runner's body is subject to much wear and tear: The longer and faster the runs, the greater the wear and tear over time.

Our muscles seem to deal with most of the wear and tear, which over time, can lead to muscle imbalance, pain and reduced running efficiency.

An example of muscle imbalance may start with a weak gluteus medius resulting in overactivity of the upper gluteus maximus, tensor fasciae latae, and lateral quadriceps muscles. Such muscle imbalance may lead to knee pain (patellofemoral pain syndrome) and possibly patellar tendinopathy. The overactive muscles themselves may also become painful due to the development of myofascial trigger points.

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Reduced running efficiency is likely with muscle imbalance. Elite triathlete coach Dr Phill Maffetone asserts that running with muscle imbalance can increase the heart rate by up to five beats per minute. Running may have to cease if pain levels are allowed to escalate.

Our advice, as well as that of most elite level coaches; get assessed and treated early. Better still, prevent problems by ensuring your body is adequately prepared and then 'serviced' regularly with regular physiotherapy checkups.

Assessment includes careful and specific muscle palpation, muscle and fascial mobility tests, muscle strength and stability tests, and complete biomechanical analysis.

Treatment includes myofascial release, intramuscular electrical stimulation techniques, biofeedback, specific exercises, and a biomechanical correction as may be required.

In good health.

Simon Coghlan MSc, BSc Physio, DipMedAc

Chartered Physiotherapist

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