Injury Q & A For Runners

In December, we hosted a live chat about injuries with Dr. Michelle Clark from Accelerate Health. Here are some of your questions and Dr. Michelle's answers about running injuries and injury prevention.

"I was just diagnosed with a tear in my iliofemoral ligament. what are some good stretches or strengthening exercises to help with a speedy recovery?"

Dr. Michelle: Glute strength is always a good option for a tear in that area of your hip. I like glute bridges and side planks for that.

"What is the best way to determine when to rest soreness versus work on strengthening a weak area...for example, one sore knee and sore lower back are my occassional issues."

Dr. Michelle: My rule of thumb is that you can work through discomfort/soreness but pain is your body's way of telling you there is an issue. If the discomfort escalates, see someone.

"What causes PF? Seems like so many runners struggle with it..."

Dr. Michelle: The main cause is eccentric loading of three muscles deep to the calf during the toe of and mid foot strike of running. It is an overuse injury without proper care of the tissues post exercise.

"I think I am experiencing a slight case of 'runner's knee.' I've been resting most days but I have a 10k on Saturday. Do you think its safe to go ahead a run it as much as I can anyway? Is there anything I can do to help in the meantime?"

Dr. Michelle: Runner's knee is usually caused by an imbalance of the medial and lateral quads coupled with glute weakness. I recommend foam rolling your medial quads and doing glute exercises. Massage Therapy and Active Release Technique (ART) might be a good insurance policy for your race.

"What are your recommendations for plantar issues? My symptoms are mild but nagging and have been apparent for about two years. Massaging and ice doesn't seem to help."

Dr. Michelle: If it is true plantar fasciitis, then there is an inflammatory process occurring in your foot and that needs to be addressed. I like acupuncture for this. Also, shortening of the calf muscles are often associated with it. So stretching the calves is incredibly helpful. Try a more supportive running shoe as well.