Do you have a recent running-related injury? You aren't alone. According to Yale Medicine, half of all regular runners (or more) sustain these injuries annually. If you're one of the many runners with an activity-induced injury or pain, take a look at how a physical therapy center can help.

Runner's Knee Relief

Runner's knee is an umbrella term that includes many different running-related injuries. The most common causes of this type of knee pain include abnormal alignment of the bones in the legs, weakness of the thigh muscles, imbalance of thigh muscle strength, or flat feet. Whether it's a bone, muscle, or foot issue, the result is pain around the knee area.

Along with rest and ice, you can also find natural, medication-free relief from physical therapy. The physical therapist (PT) can create a treatment plan that includes stretches and exercises to strengthen the area. Consistent PT and other services from an occupational therapy center may help you to overcome the pain and return to either your regular or a modified running routine.

Plantar Fasciitis PT

While plantar fasciitis doesn't solely affect runners, it's a common issue for people who exercise regularly. Plantar fasciitis causes heel pain—typically after periods of inactivity or intense exercise (such as running). This means you may feel pain when you first stand up or wake up in the morning, or the discomfort may worsen after a run.

The primary cause of this disorder is inflammation of the plantar fascia (the tissue that connects the heel to the toes). While some runners choose medical therapies, such as steroid injections, PT is a drug-free way to ease the pain. The therapist can help you to stretch the plantar fascia and the nearby Achilles tendon. Like PT for runner's knee, this type of therapy increases flexibility and strength.

Shin Splint Recovery

Pain along the shin bone is a common running-related issue. Known medically as medial tibial stress syndrome, shin splints result from swelling of the tissue, muscles, and tendons surrounding the tibia bone. Intense exercise, running long distances, flat feet, or running in worn or poorly fitted shoes can cause shin splints.

Shin splints may resolve with adequate rest, compression bandages, or changes in footwear (such as a switch to better-fitted shoes or orthotics). But you may also need physical therapy. Therapy for shin splints also focuses on flexibility exercises. The PT will track your progress and help you to determine when you can safely return to an exercise routine.

To learn more, contact a physical therapy center in your area.