Health Blog

What MTI Physical Therapy Can Do for Runners

Our last blog post was all about Spring being the time for running. This post focuses on how MTI can help you get the most out of your running season.

1. Evaluate strength and endurance of the trunk and lower extremity. Not only does strength training improve your overall strength, it will also improve your running. Some good core exercises are side plank, forward plank and back extensions. Lower extremity exercises including single leg squats, lunges, hip abduction and hip rotation are helpful to build strength, balance, and coordination.

2. Assess lower extremity flexibility. Running requires more range of motion in the lower extremities so flexibility is important to prevent injury and have proper mechanics. Common runner’s stretches include iliotibial band, piriformis, hamstring, quadricep, psoas and calf stretches.

3. Assess joint mobility to identify if there are joint restrictions that will be putting abnormal stress on surrounding soft tissue or excessive stress on joints above or below that restricted joint. If there is restrictions in range at any of the lower extremity joints, it will become more apparent in running. All of the therapist at MTI physical therapy are trained in advance joint mobilization to restore full mobility to the restricted joint(s) and can instruct on self-joint mobilization techniques.

4. Perform dynamic drills to assess balance and lower extremity movement patterns. An MTI physical therapist will include dynamic single leg drills to work functional movement patterns that are used in running. Since so much of the running gait cycle is performed single legged, it is critical to have good dynamic lower extremity control.

5. Perform a gait analysis to determine if there is any abnormal biomechanics during the running cycle. By filming you running on a treadmill and examining your alignment, an MTI therapist can determine proper running drills to modify your running mechanics to become a more efficient runner.

6. Exam feet structure in weight bearing. If orthotics are determined to be needed, we can fit you with an over the counter or custom orthotic. We have heated molded orthotics that we can contour to your feet to provide improved foot mechanics. If more modifications are needed, we can cast your foot to take an imprint to better customize the support and fit of the orthotic.