Helping patients with running injuries
A traveling physical therapist and a PT staffing company should be aware of the best practices surrounding treating patients with running injuries. Many people who do not work out very often believe that running is a simple and straightforward way to burn calories and get physically fit. While it's true that running is an effective form of cardio, a person who is not a trained runner or who has not run for an extended period of time can be prone to injuries.
"People get injured when they do stupid things. If you try to run a marathon without training you're going to get hurt," Dr. Lewis Maharam, medical director of the New York City Marathon and author of Running Doc's Guide to Healthy Running, told the Huffington Post. "The most common injury we see at the marathon is a blister."
This results in many patients coming to a physical therapist with running injuries. Even experienced runners can suffer a wide array of injuries - in fact, author of Anatomy for Runners Jay Dicharry explains one third of runners are hurt every single year. PTs should be prepared to help both inexperienced and experienced runners overcome injuries and get back on course to living an active and healthy lifestyle.
According to the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma, a patient with a running injury should rest and place ice on the injury. The leg or the body part that is injured should be elevated, and the running mileage should be decreased to a pain-free amount if the patient wants to continue running during healing.
A PT should also provide the proper stretches a patient can perform before and after each run, but stretches should typically focus on the Achilles tendon, hamstrings and quadriceps. A weight training program can also strengthen the muscles around the hip, knee, ankle and abdominal area to reduce the risk of injury in the future.
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