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Endurance walking has become increasingly popular, with many of our patients preparing for different events. However, endurance training can push your body to places it has never been, and can result in injury. It is imperative that we educate ourselves on common injuries when partaking and training for endurance events, as detecting the signs of injury is vital in early management and recovery.
I have listed and described some common injuries below that we often see in the clinic, and symptoms to look out for if you are training for an event.
The Iliotibial Band (ITB) is the thick band of fibrous tissue that runs on the outside side of your leg from your hip to your knee. At the top of your thigh it is attached to your Tensor Fascia Latae and Gluteus Maximus, and at the bottom it attaches to your tibia and femur. ITB syndrome is common among runners, walkers and cyclists, it occurs when the IT Band becomes irritated and inflamed as a result of overuse.
What are the symptoms of ITB syndrome?
The severity of ITB syndrome can vary greatly, however the most common symptoms include;
- Sharp or burning pain on the outer part of the knee
- Pain that worsens with continuance of repetitive activities
- Swelling over the outside of the knee
- Gradual onset of symptoms which if they persist for greater than 4 weeks can cause major sport or activity interference
How can we help?
- Assess and determine the actual cause of your ITB syndrome
- Reduce acute pain and inflammation
- Assist you with modifying your exercise or training regime to reduce pain and prevent recurrence
- Normalise joint range of motion
- Strengthen your knee, hip and leg muscles
- Assess and correct your running and landing technique and function through our running assessment
The plantar fascia is the thick band of fibrous tissue that attaches the bottom of the heel bone to the toes. The plantar fascia’s role is to absorb shock and support the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of this tissue, caused by repetitive stretching and tearing. Plantar fasciitis is most often associated with impact and endurance sports.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
Experiencing pain with the first few steps you take each morning that lessens with movement is a common symptom. However, the area usually becomes painful again with prolonged standing or walking.
How can we help?
Treatment is most successful when started as soon as the symptoms and pain first occur. If treatment is limited or postponed, the condition can become chronic and much more difficult to treat. We can;
- Perform a full lower limb assessment in both static and dynamic positions
- Stretch and release the calf and arch of the foot
- Advise on load management, ice and anti-inflammatory medicine
- Advise on arch supports (orthotics)
What is Achilles Tendinopathy?
Achilles tendinopathy refers to both Achilles tendinitis (an inflammation of the achilles tendon, which connects the calf to the heel bone) and Achilles tendinosis (tiny tears in and around the tendon).
What are the symptoms of Achilles Tendinopathy?
Pain and swelling in the ankle are the most common symptoms. The pain can range from mild to severe and may only happen upon running or walking. The ankle may also become weak and inflexible.
How can we help?
- Advise on managing exercise load and decreasing inflammation
- Advise on supportive footwear
- Guidance on stretching exercises
- Safely recommence loading the tendon to return to training
We’re here to help.
If you are training for an endurance event and you are experiencing some of the symptoms, get in touch now.
About the Author
Ciaran Lambe — Manual Physiotherapist
Ciaran grew up in Ireland where sport played a large part in his life. His Bachelor’s degree in Sport and Exercise Sciences led him into a career in fitness where he worked as a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach for Gaelic football teams.