The Benefits of Physiotherapy for Runners: Enhanced Performance & Recovery

physio for runners kitchener

Running is a physically demanding activity that requires not just passion and dedication, but also proper care of the body. Understanding how physiotherapy can enhance your running performance and mitigate injuries is crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the fundamental aspects of physiotherapy for runners, helping you stay at the top of your game.

Physiotherapy for Runners

Physiotherapy can be an invaluable tool for runners looking to perform better and recover faster. Whether you are a first-time runner or a seasoned pro training for your next marathon, physiotherapy can help. 

If injury prevention is your goal, your physiotherapist will advise you on the best ways to avoid getting injured. This may include a gait analysis to ensure you are using proper running technique. Your physiotherapist will also work with you to devise a running schedule, a cross-training program, and recovery strategies that are tailored to your unique needs. 

Physiotherapy is also important if you’ve had a running-related injury. Whether it’s a traumatic injury like an ankle sprain or an overuse injury like shin pain, physiotherapy can help you with your rehab goals.

Post-injury Recovery: When to Start Physio

Generally speaking, you should start physio as soon as possible after an injury! It is never too early to talk to your physiotherapist after an injury. Even immediately after an injury has occurred, there are strategies that can be implemented to begin supporting the rehab process. 

Early rehab after an acute injury often includes discussion about pain management, icing/heating routines, bracing/compression, gentle exercises, manual therapy, modalities, and education about the injury’s recovery process.

Should You Stop Running After an Injury?

There are a couple of reasons your physiotherapist may recommend a temporary cessation from running. 

For example, if someone has an acute ankle sprain with bruising and/or swelling, a physiotherapist may tell them to discontinue running until they are further into the recovery. If your symptoms align with that of a stress fracture, then you must discontinue running until the fracture heals fully. If your symptoms are worsening across runs and lingering afterwards, your physiotherapist may recommend that you decrease your running or stop completely.

The Role of Physio in Speeding Up Recovery

One of the biggest benefits of physiotherapy for injury recovery is the professional advice and guidance that comes with it. Specifically, physiotherapy can prevent the recovery time from being drawn out due to errors in self-rehabilitation. 

Rehabbing our injuries on our own or with Google can be confusing. Should I use ice or heat? Do I need to stop running? Do I need to rest or push through? What else do I need to do? Often one can find conflicting information. Additionally, some information online may not be backed by the most recent research, or it may only apply to a particular group. But in the case of a running injury, it is important to treat the person as a whole, not just the injury. That means the rehab process is going to look different for different people, even if they have the same injury. This is a key benefit of working with a physiotherapist and significantly decreases the time it takes to recover fully.

Prehab for Runners

With prehabilitation, your physiotherapist will implement strategies and techniques before an injury occurs to minimize the risk of it happening. 

During the prehab stage, there are a few key things to look at. First, your physiotherapist will assess your running schedule and advise you on how to make appropriate progressions in intensity, frequency and/or volume so as not to overload the body with “too much too soon” – a common cause of running-related injuries. 

Second, they will look at your cross-training routine to ensure you are performing certain exercises, such as single-leg strengthening exercises, that complement the demands of running. 

Third, you want to ensure you are giving your body enough time to recover. A physiotherapist will assess how much recovery is necessary and what you can do to optimize it.

Perform Like Never Before

Running doesn’t have to be a solo journey. With the right guidance and physiotherapy support from Strive Physiotherapy & Performance in Kitchener, you can enhance your performance, prevent injuries, and enjoy a healthier, more fulfilling running experience. Ready to take your running to the next level? Contact us today to schedule an appointment and start your journey to optimal running health.

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