Athlete with injured knee

Trends in running injuries and patterns of movement

I have seen many patterns over the years and have realized things are very connected. The WHOLE body is needed to run well. By thinking a knee injury is just a knee injury, or a foot problem is just a foot issue is not enough with this sport.

Here are a few common patterns I find:

  1. The foot and hip are married. An old foot injury can easily affect the hip. The hip can affect the ankle. Feet need to be flexible and agile. A foot that is too stiff can create issues up the chain. I treat the feet with every runner!
  2. If something is stiff in one place, another area of the body has to work extra hard and may create breakdown. This is common for achilles issues. If the right achilles is an issue, I often look at the left hip drive and there often is an issue.
  3. The ribs are so important. So often our ribs are stiff. If the ribs are stiff the pelvis and low back have to over rotate to make up for the loss of rib cage rotation.
    Running is rotation. Ideal rotation is meant to happen throughout the rib cage along the bra-line zone and not throughout the lower back or pelvis. This can create low back pain and/or chronic upper shoulder tension when we run. This is why breath work is such an easy tool to get the ribs to start moving. (Check out the TOPICS Section under Breath Work in my Still Physio Academy. There you will find my breaths to improve running performance).
  4. Hips that are too tight and too weak often create pelvic floor issues that can cause leaking with running, painful intercourse, and an overactive bladder. The opposite can also be true. A pelvic floor that is too tight and weak can create stiffness in the hips making it hard to see progress in your running.
  5. The knee is stuck between a foot and a hip. An issue with the hip can lead to a knee injury and a rigid, stiff foot can also create an issue into the knee. It is important to look above and below the chain to manage knee injuries.
  6. Lastly and most interesting, digestive health issues play a huge role in hip performance. If you have chronic constipation, the left SI joint or the left hip is hugely impacted. If you have a right hip issue, the cecum and small intestine are often in need for treatment. Rib stiffness can be due to stomach tension or inflammation of the colon. Crazy stuff but it can affect how you move.  How many runners do you know with gut issues… Sooo many!

These are just a few patterns that often present at the clinic. If you have had some chronic issues that just won’t get better, come see me at the clinic and let’s figure it out.

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