“You cannot improve if you cannot run. The single greatest cause of improvement is remaining injury free”
Jeff Galloway (past Olympian and author of Galloway’s Book of Running)
Running is an incredibly popular sport in it’s own right, and an integral part of many other sports.
People run for many different reasons – fitness, weight loss, racing, or as part of their training for another sport such as football or hockey.
Your individual biomechanics are a major factor in determining how well you run and your frequency of running injuries. Biomechanics looks at how efficiently and smoothly your muscle and joints work – the more efficient you are, the less oxygen needed per stride, thus the faster or longer you can run for. Interestingly enough, the same biomechanics that make you go faster, are also those that reduce your chance of developing a running related injury.
Sport & Spinal Physiotherapy has helped many clients from Gungahlin and the wider Canberra community with all types of running injuries including:
- Runners knee
- Jumpers knee
- Knee pain
- Iliotibial band friction syndrome
- Shin pain
- Low back pain
- Hip pain
- Heel pain
- Foot pain
- Ankle pain
- Plantar fascitis
- Hip Bursitis
- Hamstring muscle strains
- Achilles tendon pain
- Compartment syndromes
- Stress fractures
- Shin splints
- Patellofemoral pain syndromes
So if efficient biomechanics in running can help you run faster and more efficiently as well as prevent running related injuries, then the question begs –
What constitutes efficient biomechanics in running?
- Upright Posture and Slight Forward Lean – An upright posture and slight forward lean places your centre of mass on the front part of the foot, facilitating the use of the spring mechanism of the foot.
- Effective Stride Length – Your stride length behind your centre of mass is the driving force behind your forward motion, whereas over-striding in front of your centre of mass acts as a braking force.
- Stable Core – your muscle stabilisers around your pelvis and lower back act as your foundations and if stable, there is no loss of energy transfer from your driving muscles, meaning all energy produced results in forward motion.
- Efficient Foot Biomechanics – the ideal foot allows shock absorption whilst acting as a rigid lever for propulsion.
An upright posture, effective stride length and stable core require sufficient muscle flexibility, control and strength. Our physios can deliver effective exercise programs to improve muscle function to help improve these important facets of correct running technique.
Whilst the foot is essentially a loose bag of bones, some muscle control exercises prescribed by our physios can help improve foot function particularly if the biomechanical fault is minor. However, for more dysfunctional feet, custom moulded orthotics supplied by our podiatrists will probably be required to obtain optimal foot function.
Professional Running Assessment
All of the above tips for improving running technique are rough guidelines only. If you are serious about your running and would like to improve performance and reduce running-related injuries then you should have a professional running assessment with video analysis at Sport & Spinal Physiotherapy. Our running assessment physiotherapist performs a detailed analysis of your body structure, muscle length, muscle control and your running technique. We provide prescriptive exercises to correct any biomechanical faults. We provide a detailed report on your current running technique as well as any suggested running drills to improve your running performance.
Why choose us for your running injury?
- We listen, we care and we get results
- We fix the cause of your running injury and not just the symptoms
- We have physiotherapy and podiatry for even the most complex running injuries
- Our podiatrists can prescribe custom moulded orthotics to help your running-related pain
- We can provide a professional running assessment to improve running technique and reduce injuries
- Our running assessment physio was a former international middle distance level runner and NSW state level running coach
- We have therapists who have special training in running injuries having completed further studies
- We have extensive experience in dealing with running injuries
- We can refer you for further investigations such as x-ray or MRI if required
- Our therapists are passionate about running
- Our therapists have been recognised for their expertise having been national sporting team consultants
- We use real time ultrasound to ensure you correctly engage your muscles with dynamic core stability work
- Our physios and podiatrists can recommend the ideal footwear to suit your foot type
- We have advanced gym equipment to improve lower limb strength and coordination for running
- Our massage therapists can sort out any tight muscles to help improve running performance
- We can provide dry needling for pain management and accelerated healing of running injuries
- We can supply practitioner only natural anti-inflammatory supplements to help healing of running injuries
- Many of our physios work with local, state, national and international teams and athletes
- We give you cross training activities so you can maintain your fitness whilst injured
- We provide you with the tools to look after your health long after you leave our care
- We provide you with a guided return to running with any technique modifications or training restrictions
- We can recommend referral to a medical specialist if need be to see if your running injury requires surgery
“I always loved running – it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs”.
Jesse Owens (winner of 4 Olympic gold medals in sprints and long jump in Berlin 1936 games)