As Running Events Increase in Number, So Do Overuse Injuries

by thefootmechanic

As the number of available running events are on the rise, so too are those overuse injuriesassociated with increased training volumes. In fact, in a study published by Dr .D. Cosca, MD,University of California Davis Sports Medicine Program (Common problems in endurance athletes), he finds that “… intensive training and inadequate recovery leads to the breakdown in tissues reparative mechanisms and eventually to overuse injuries.” The real problem is the creation of the condition called “tendinosis.” Normal “tendinitis” is a common injury condition which, if treated correctly, leads to a healing response and ultimate restoration of that tissues integrity. Tendinosis, on the other hand, is a function of inadequate resting of a tendinitis. If the injured tissue is not allowed to go through its normal healing process, it enters into a vicious cycle of repeated micro trauma while disallowing the reparative properties of its blood supply. As the degenerative properties of the tissue progresses, it becomes more difficult to treat. The finality of this deleterious process may ultimately lead to tissue rupture. Major areas of diagnostic concern are plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, medial tibial stress syndrome, patellofemoral syndrome, iliotibial band friction syndrome, stress reactions, stress fractures, and other problems up the kinetic chain. The best way to prevent one of these injuries from limiting your training is to attack it early. Early intervention includes following the acronym “RICE:” Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Unfortunately, it is ingrained in the marathoner’s mindset to ignore early symptoms and power through their regimented training programs. What he or she fails to recognize is that losing 1-2 weeks of their training programs is better than the alternative- losing 1-2 months. By following the correct treatment regimen, a visit to the local physician or physical therapist would be the next step. A custom biomechanical assessment and even custom foot orthotics may be appropriate, depending on such factors as over-pronation, leg length discrepancies or muscle imbalances.