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We will once again be offering FREE express road side massage and stretch aid to all Brighton Marathon runners on the day of the marathon.  We are perfectly placed along the course, just before mile 18.

Natalie, Sports Therapist and myself, Chiropractor, will be set up outside Coast Chiropractic at 198, Church Road (weather permitting, if not we’ll be just inside). Please come and see us if you’re struggling and hopefully we can help you get through the rest of the race, with a smile on your face.

We will also be available for post event treatments during normal clinic opening hours from Monday 15th April!

GOOD LUCK & ENJOY !

If you would like to look at any of our blogs on running – just click on any of the following:

Running injuries

Beginner, serious enthusiast or elite athlete

An Athletes Relief Aid

My little runaway

Yoga stretches for runners (and everyone)

Distance running and ITB syndrome

Please tell your friends and spread the word…

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Running the Marathon? You may need some help…

runners-injuries

With the Brighton Marathon just around the corner, here is an insight into the types of injuries you may come across and some top tips on how to avoid them…

 

Here are some common causes of injuries while training…

Over-training

Runners often focus on endurance and stamina work rather than overall strengthening of the entire lower body. The first indicator of over training is aches and pains. When a patient presents with aches and pains, its best to deal with it sooner than later. If caught early, one to two days of rest is usually all that is needed. But, aches and pains that are ignored can become more significant. The tissues break down and can become an injury if not addressed promptly, it can then take weeks to resolve the issue.

Abrupt changes in training

Adding five miles to that daily run or altering the pace are actually abrupt changes in regimen that can spark an injury. It will become worse if symptoms start and a runner tries to work through it.

Poor footwear

Old, worn out trainers wont offer the support you need to be pounding the streets and the wrong size shoe can cause issues too. Too small and you’ll suffer with blisters, too big and it increases the lever arm so force through the calf muscles are increased and the Achilles Tendon can break down. Running shoes should ideally be changed every 350-500 miles depending on body type and training style.

Muscle imbalance

The most common cause of injury among runners is an imbalance with the muscles. Training should go beyond running and should certainly include strengthening and stretching work. Muscles can become tight and over active while others can become weak and underactive – this can cause major problems down the line whether it is to those specific muscles or to others in the same chain. For example weak gluteal muscles can cause problems at the knees, shins and ankles!

Here are some common areas of the body that are likely to come under strain during your training…

Hip Flexors

Anterior_Hip_Flexes_2The hip flexors are a group of muscles that pull the knees upwards towards the core. They begin in the lumber region of the back and connect into the femur (thigh bone). The hip flexor muscles can become inflamed or can even rupture. Hernia’s, trapped nerves and inflammation and rupture of the adductor muscles cannot be ruled out in this area either.

Inflammation

Symptoms can include pain in the groin when you lift your knee to your chest, tightness or swelling in the groin and pain may disappear when training but return afterwards.

The best way to treat inflammation is to rest until the pain has gone. Applying heat to the area will also help.

Rupture

Symptoms include a sudden, sharp pain in the groin, weakness in the area and pain when lifting the knee to your chest. If you think you may have ruptured your hip flexors, you should cease training immediately, applying ice and pressure to the area. Rehabilitation will include lots of rest, a gradual and progressive stretching and strengthening program. A complete rupture of the muscle is rare and would usually require surgery.

Anterior Knee Pain

knee-ligamentsKnee pain can arise from a range of conditions affecting the front of the knee. The knee is made up of 2 bones and the kneecap where various ligaments, muscles and tendons surround it to keep it in place. There are some common causes of knee pain for runners: softening of the cartilage on the back of the kneecap; over pronation (the way your foot strikes the ground when you run doesn’t allow shock to be absorbed properly); stiff hip joints; tight hamstring, calf and quad muscles or lack of strength in the quad muscles.

Symptoms of anterior knee pain can include pain along the medial side or just below the kneecap that gets worse when using stairs or going up/down hills. It can be worse with prolonged sitting and can be described as a dull ache. Sometimes people describe a cracking or grating of the knee and suggest it can ‘catch’ or feel like it ‘gives way’.

Immediate treatment consists of ice and rest and rehabilitation will include stretching the major muscles in the leg to decrease pressure on the kneecap and strengthening muscles to help the kneecap glide correctly.

‘Shin Splints’

Shin pain is very common in runners and it is often referred to as ‘shin splints’. However this is a very generalised term and there are 'shin splints'several different conditions that can cause this pain. Knowing the cause is most important for treatment. Causes include medial tibial stress syndrome, tibial stress fracture, chronic compartment syndrome, calf strains, nerve compression and referred back pain.

 

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS)

This is pain on the inside of the tibia bone bought on by running and can take hours/days to ease. It is often associated with over pronation of the foot when running meaning that shock isn’t absorbed properly. It can also be linked to continually running on hard surfaces or wearing worn out or wrong running shoes. Treatment involves rest from running as well as stretching and massage of calf and shin muscles. Correct footwear will need to be looked at and a review of training programmes to see if anything could make the condition worse.

Tibial Stress Fracture

With a tibial stress fracture, runners will often suffer pain after running however the pain normally gets worse and can last longer after each run. Runners may also suffer from a sharp rising pain when they’re in bed at night and can have tenderness over the area on the tibia. Stress fractures can be caused my repetitive loading of the bones and they are more common in women. A stress fracture can be confirmed by an x-ray and rest of 6-8 weeks from running is essential. A review of training programmes again is essential and a rehabilitation programme is vital to return to running.

Chronic Compartment Syndrome (CCS)

Chronic compartment syndrome is a pain in the lower leg muscles whilst running. The pain eases with rest and can often feel like cramp or a tight, burning sensation. CCS can be caused by leg muscles increasing in size thus becoming too big for the surrounding tissues. The surrounding tissues aren’t flexible enough to accommodate the increase in size and this causes increased pressure which can lead to nerve damage and reduced blood flow in the muscles. On examination a doctor or sports injury specialist may not find a problem because CCS only occurs during exercise. Rest will ease the pain but it will more than likely return when you start training again. If this is the case, surgery is often required.

Achilles Tendon

achilles-tendonAchilles tendon problems are another common complaint amongst runners.  The Achilles tendon connects the gastrocnemius (calf muscle) to the heel bone. The Achilles tendon can become inflamed (tendonitis) or it can be strained or ruptured.

Tendonitis

Tendonitis is the inflammation of the Achilles tendon usually due to overuse or from an injury to the Achilles. Achilles tendonitis can often be painful at the beginning of exercise and often ease during exercise. The pain usually presents as a dull ache again after exercise. Treatment involves resting, stretching and strengthening and adapting your training programme. Not over-training is key. Introduce new exercise slowly to allow your body time to adjust. Wearing the right type of footwear can be important, flat-footed shoes can put more strain on your Achilles. Allow for a proper warm up and try to vary your training programme.

Strains or ruptures

Strains and ruptures are the most common Achilles injuries. They occur when you make a sudden movement or overstretch the tendon – usually when jumping, lunging or falling. Sometimes these injuries can make it hard to walk or put your foot on the floor. Symptoms include immediate pain just above the heel turning to a dull ache, limited movement of the ankle and swelling or heat around the Achilles. Treatment will depend on the severity of strain or rupture but rest, ice and elevate is your first port of call. Rehabilitation will include stretching and strengthening.

If you are in need of help whether it is to just diagnosis your condition or to receive treatment and training advice then please give us a call. If you are ever unsure- always contact a Sports Injury Specialist or GP.

Written by  Natalie Harris – BSc Sports Therapist, MSST

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Coast Clinic

01273 321133
Tuesday: 10am - 7pm, Wednesday: 2.30pm - 6.30pm, Friday: 3pm - 7pm, Sat: 9am - 1pm