Health Blog

Spring Is The Time for Running


Out of over 280 million Americans, 30 million are runners. With running, you put 3 to 4 times your body weight through your lower extremity and back joints. The most common injury is to the knees. For runners over 40 years old, achilles and calf injuries are the most frequent injuries. Hip injuries are also very common because of hip weakness. Trunk rotation increases in running as speed increases which can lead to low back pain due to decreased stability in the back. Trunk side bending also becomes more pronounced with running and hill descent. All of the lower extremity joints go through a greater range of motion in running. With increased speed, more hip and knee bending needs to occur in the swing cycle.

Women generally have stronger quadriceps than hamstrings, which can cause a higher incidence of injuries to the knees especially to the anterior cruciate ligament(ACL). Focusing on the hamstring strengthening is helpful to avoid injuring this ligament. Another area exclusive to women is returning to running after a pregnancy. Running can be painful due to pelvic instability, weakness in the abdominal muscles or an anterior rotated pelvis resulting in poor running form. A therapist, at MTI physical therapy, can properly identify which muscles need strengthened, which joints need more mobility, which muscles need greater flexibility, and which shoes may be a better fit.

For those that run marathons, the average amounts of steps is 52,000 steps so if you have decreased flexibility or strength in the lower extremity, there will be a lot of abnormal forces going through your body. The stance time changes from .6 seconds in walking to .2 seconds in running. In running there is no double stance time so single leg balance and stability is essential.

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