Performance Care for Runners
Staying injury free… and performing at your peak!
At Kinetic Health we provide you with a means to enhance your running performance by identifying and releasing restrictions that reduce performance and cause injuries.
During our performance analysis we:
- Determine which structures are affected along the runner’s Kinetic Chain.
- Focus on more than just the chief area of restriction. For example, a runner with a knee injury will often have accompanying restrictions in a multitude of soft-tissue structures above and below the knee.
- Identify the antagonistic structures (opposing muscle groups) to the primary structures causing the imbalance. Since function and performance is based upon balance and coordination, an opposing soft-tissue structure is always affected by restrictions in the primary structure.
We then treat each soft-tissue dysfunction with the appropriate technique to restore full function to the affected structures.
The result is almost always an appreciable improvement in running performance.
See our page about Biomechanical Analysis to learn how Performance Care at Kinetic Health can improve your running abilities!
Common Running Injuries – Achilles Tendonitis
Treating the Achilles tendon requires a complete history and biomechanical analysis, removal of any restrictive adhesions, and implementation of effective exercises. The biomechanical analysis, or determining which structures in the kinetic chain are involved, is extremely important. From patient history and subjective findings it will be easy to figure out where it hurts, but not where the source of the problem is coming from.
Biomechanical analysis is essential in determining which areas of the patient’s kinetic chain must be addressed. Through the observation of abnormal motions in a person’s gait we can discovered key links on what areas to treat and what areas on which to focus our exercises programs. Consider the following two motion examples; abnormal plantar flexion and abnormal or restricted knee flexion, and how they could be related to Achilles tendon problems:
Abnormal or Restricted Plantar flexion (Calf raise action ) – The action of Plantar flexion is performed by these muscles.
- Triceps Surae
- Peroneus longus
- Peroneus Brevis
- Flexor digitorum longus
- Flexor hallucis longus
- Tibialis posterior
Plantar flexion is a downward movement of the foot (calf raise). The strongest muscle group of your leg, the Triceps Surae, performs much of the action of plantar flexion. The Triceps Surae is formed by the Soleus (deepest calf muscles) and the Gastrocnemius (Superficial double headed calf muscle). Both these muscles form the Achilles tendon, which attaches to the posterior surface of your heel bone (calcaneus).
When these muscles contract, or shorten, they pull your heel bone up, and push your toe down (calf raise – plantar flexion). Therefore, pain or abnormal motion during this action is often directly related to these key structures; but not necessarily, because these structures are also affected by knee function and stability.
Consider this; the Gastrocnemius muscle crosses three joints – the knee, ankle and subtalar joints. Any alteration in the function of these joints will have the effect of increasing tension on the Achilles tendon.
Abnormal or Restricted knee Extension – The action of knee extension is performed by these muscles.
If you are unable to fully extend the knee without stress, perhaps due to restrictions in the hamstrings (knee flexor antagonists), you will develop considerable tension in the Achilles tendon. This is because a hamstring restriction creates calf muscle restrictions, which directly tightens the Achilles tendon.
It is not that hard to see how a restriction in one area can cascade into multiple restrictions. The key to resolving Achilles Tendonitis is to remove all these restrictions along the entire kinetic chain, not just at the point of pain.
The plantar fascia are a band of fibers that run from the heel bone to the base of the toes.
Plantar Fasciitis occurs when these tissues are irritated and inflamed. Bone spurs often form on the heel if this condition is not correctly treated. Biomechanical or training flaws such as over-pronation, flat feet, a tight Achilles tendon, a high-arched foot, or a sudden increase in training mileage, often cause plantar Fasciitis.
Conventional therapy (without surgery) usually requires six weeks to three months.
With ART, we have seen rapid resolution of this problem, in 90% of cases, with just one to three treatments. We have found such positive results even with chronic long-term cases.
ART’s effectiveness lies in the way it addresses the underlying structures involved in the injury. ART protocols do not focus on JUST the Plantar Fascia. Under the Plantar Fascia are three other structures that are commonly involved, but are rarely treated or addressed. These are the:
- Plantar Aponeurosis
- Flexor Digitorum Brevis muscle
- Quadratus Plantae muscle
These three structures run very deep within the foot and each must be treated with different strategies to achieve positive results.
Read Dr. Abelson’s running related articles
|Inversion Sprains Part 1||An ankle sprain refers to the tearing of the ligaments of the ankle and account for approximately 40% of all athletic injuries. 85% of ankle sprains occur on the outside (lateral side) of the ankle and are known as an inversion sprain.|
|Medial Ankle Pain||An injury to the Flexor Hallucis Longus (FHL) tendon causes medial ankle pain or pain on the bottom of the foot. FHL injury is a condition that is often overlooked or misdiagnosed. This injury affects dancers, runners, soccer players, and any other athlete who performs repeated, propulsive forces, or jumping.|
|Understanding stress fractures Part 1||Stress fractures are one of the most common, and potentially serious, overuse injuries. A stress fracture is an incomplete fracture that can occur anywhere in the body, and are typically caused by repetitive forceful actions. In contrast, most other types of fractures are caused by a single, direct, traumatic impact.|
|Achilles tendon injury||Treating the Achilles tendon requires a complete history and biomechanical analysis, removal of any restrictive adhesions, and implementation of effective exercises. The biomechanical analysis, or determining which structures in the kinetic chain are involved, is extremely important. From patient history and subjective findings it will be easy to figure out where it hurts, but not where the source of the problem is coming from.|
|A sprain/strain can affect your nevous system||Whenever a sprain/strain injury occurs it is not just the ligament, tendon, or muscle fibers that are damaged. Often, the embedded neurological structures within these soft-tissue structures are also damaged. These neurological structures (golgi tendon organs, muscle spindles, and joint receptors) are essential for postural control. Any damage to these structures can have the effect of decreasing spinal stability, which can lead to chronic problems.|
|Resolving Sciatica Part 1||Sciatic pain often affects the lower back, gluteal region, and various areas of the leg and foot. Often, the symptoms effect only on one side of the body.|
|Resolving Plantar Fasciitis||Of all the conditions that we treat Plantar Fasciitis (PF), is one of the most common. In fact, between the running community and the general public I see new cases of Plantar Fasciitis almost every day. This can be a very frustrating condition for a lot of people who previously have achieved only minimal or no results.|
|Ligament injuries of the knee||Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect bone to bone. Ligament damage is a common injury we see at our clinic, most of these injuries are sports related. The majority of them are mild to moderate ligament injuries and can be treated without any need for surgery.|
|Knee injuries and the kinetic chain||When dealing with any knee injury, your practitioner should consider all the anatomical structures both above and below the knee. New patterns of dysfunction will develop whenever any segment of the knee’s kinetic chain is not functioning properly.|
|Treating menicus injuries with Active Rlease||The successful resolution of a knee problem involves a complex understanding of kinetic chain relationships, and a functional understanding of how each body action is related to specific anatomical structures.|
|Running and Arm motion||The backward-swing motion of a runner’s arm helps to increase forward motion. It does this by counter-balancing the support and push-off actions of the leg that is currently in contact with the ground. In contrast, the forward-arm-swing acts both as a rest period in preparation for the backward motion and as a counterbalancing action for the airborne leg that is in the recovery phase. Without these counter-balancing functions your body would have very little rotational stability.|
|Hip strength and running injuries||Research has shown that there is a major correlation between hip strength and running injuries. At our clinic (Kinetic Health), evaluation of hip strength is one of the first things that we do when testing runners. In most cases we will find some type of deficit in the runner’s hip strength.|
|Iliotibial Band Syndrome||Iliotibial Tibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is a common injury that affects triathletes, runners and cyclists. Using conventional treatments, this condition never completely resolves since these treatments typically do not address all of the key structures involved in the injury.|