… & How Osteopathic Treatment Could Help

Here are some injuries that are commonly associated with running. There is a little bit about the symptoms you might get and some good tips to try and sort them out/ prevent them. For further information, please contact one of our friendly professional osteopaths who will be more than happy to help.

 Ilio-Tibial Band Syndrome

Fascia is a continuous layer of fibrous connective tissue that runs throughout the body, it just has different names in different areas. Fascia lata is in the thigh and your ilio-tibial band (ITB) is just a thickened area on the outside of the thigh, it runs from your buttocks down along the outside of the thigh to the knee. The ITB is a difficult component to stretch and often becomes tight in sports people, especially runners. It can cause pain because of tightness; the muscles that blend with the fascia such as your quadriceps or hamstrings could be tight which in turn would make the connective tissue tighter.

Stretching can help, especially the muscles in your lower extremity. One of the best ways to stretch your ITB directly requires a foam roller and you to lie on your side. You roll the outside of your thigh over the foam roller; it can be just a little bit sore!

Osteopathy could help with soft tissue techniques in order to help them relax, articulation of the joints in the lower back, knee- femoral-tibial joint, tibia-fibular joint and the patella-femoral joint and through the foot & ankle to ensure that these are all moving to the best of their abilities and therefore able to shock absorb and articulate as they should. Medical acupuncture could also help reduce muscle tightness.

Achilles Tendonitis

Your Achilles tendon attaches the two muscles from your calf (gastrocnemius & soleus) to your heel bone. Possible causes for Achilles tendonitis are that there’s a high demand placed on the calf- e.g. increase in training / increased hill running or perhaps your trainers aren’t correct for you. The symptoms of Achilles tendonitis can be pain around the back of the ankle, pain in the calf that can be there all the time or intermittently with certain activities. Tendonitis can reach different stages; you may be suffering with pain after running, whilst running, just with walking around & weight bearing and at rest. You need to address the cause for the tendonitis and address the symptoms. A simple and easy thing to try is to ice the tendon 2-3 times per days for between 5-10 minutes & see if this helps. It is important to get tendonitis looked at as soon as possible, as you don’t want the symptoms sticking around for a long time- especially if you are training for a specific event. Soft tissue techniques & stretching can help with the muscle tightness. An osteopath may look at the movement within the foot, ankle and knee joints and may even look at your hip and lower back as if there is a problem in any of these areas it could be a maintaining factor for the tendonitis.

Shin Splints

Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome is pain along the border of the tibia bone. You might get shin splints through overloading the muscles of the leg, which can because of an increase in activity or because of bio-mechanical issues with the lower extremity. If the muscles are too tight they will place an increased stress on the periosteum of the tibia bone causing pain and discomfort. Manual treatment to these areas can work very well, especially if there is a mechanical issue underlying the muscle tension. It is important to deal with this before the shin splints become chronic. Having good fitting trainers that aren’t too knackered can also help prevent shin splints. Having trainers fitted properly to fit your foot, especially if you are training for an event can be a good investment to help prevent injury.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory condition of the plantar fascia; the connective tissue on the sole of the foot. It can be a very uncomfortable and painful condition. The cause of the fascia becoming inflamed is usually because of the fascia being overused because of an increase in activity, weight, age or mechanical issues- such as flat feet. Any of the above increases the strain on the plantar fascia, which could result in it becoming sore and inflamed. Good home treatments to try are: freezing a small bottle of water, then once frozen, place it under your foot and roll it under your foot for between 5-10 minutes. The ice will help reduce some of the inflammation and the rolling motion will help stretch the plantar fascia out, reducing the tension. You can also do this with a tennis ball or a golf ball- depending on how brave you are!

An osteopath can also help with plantar fasciitis, as they should look at mechanical components that could be maintaining the plantar fasciitis. Having good fitting shoes can also help, flat, well supported shoes are the best, shoes with less support such as flip flops, heels and open shoes could all aggravate the symptoms.


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease of the synovial joints. It most commonly occurs in the weight bearing joints e.g. knees, hips, spine but it can also occur in shoulders, hands & feet and the jaw.

Common signs & symptoms of osteoarthritis are: pain on weight bearing, stiffness in a joint especially in the mornings and after periods of sitting, joints may appear slightly swollen, heat and there may be creaking noises in the joint – crepitus.

Damage from mechanical stress can cause impairment to a joint and if this joint is unable to repair itself fully, the damage will have a lasting effect – it is this process that is believed to be the primary cause of osteoarthritis. The damage to the joint could be from a trauma such as a fall onto the joint e.g. a slip where the person lands on their knee or it could be because of altered mechanics elsewhere e.g. a foot/knee problem on the left- could lead to increased strain through the right lower extremity, increasing the chances of osteoarthritis at the right hip or knee.

See below for details on how osteoarthritis can be managed and how by booking an appointment with a Brighton based osteopath such as Bright Osteopathy can help.