Physical therapy improves athletes’ performance in various sports, including running. Most runners push their bodies to become stronger and faster, typically running daily or at least several times weekly. Physical therapy is an investment, like caring for a car or home. Taking care of your body is worth investing proper care, time, energy, and money to ensure you maintain a high quality of life.
You probably have a routine if you have been running for a while and know when to push yourself or take it slower. Either way, running can wear on your body, straining your joints and muscles whether you run for fun or are a competitive runner.
Working with an experienced physical therapist who can offer valuable support and feedback will ensure you properly care for your body. They can also help you improve your mobility, reduce injury risk and strengthen your body. This article will discuss how physical therapy can help runners and other active adults prevent and heal from injuries, train for future races, and improve overall body condition and strength.
#1. Physical Therapy Helps Runners Prevent Injury
Two of the leading causes of injuries for runners come from a lack of stability or strength. If you are a runner, an experienced physical therapist can help you understand why you got injured and what caused your injury.
A runner’s chance of getting injured increases as they run faster and run further. A runner’s body must be strong and stable to tolerate the distance and speed, along with your body‘s ability to adjust while running. If you are not in sync, your form will be off, and the risk of injury will increase.
One of the most significant benefits of working with a physical therapist is their ability to help you prevent running injuries and speed up your recovery if you get hurt. So whether you’re going to physical therapy for pain in the shoulder or back, knee pain, shins splints, stress fracture, or dry needling therapy, it’s essential to work with a physical therapist experienced with helping runners.
#2. A Physical Therapist Can Create a Personalized Training Program
Whether you have been a runner for a long time or are just beginning, a personalized training program can significantly improve your performance. While you may be able to find training program options online or talk to local runners, working with a physical therapist to create a customized training plan will ensure that you improve your strength and running performance and help prevent injury.
A well-rounded training plan is critical and must balance strength, flexibility, speed, and recovery time. An experienced physical therapist will ensure adequate recovery time and incorporate various running variables into your training program. This will allow you to have the stamina, energy, and strength you need in your race to achieve a new personal record.
If you have a running coach, they can work with your physical therapist to have the best support team in your corner. Open communication between your physical therapist and running coach is essential, they can work together and help you maintain balance, intensity, and strength to achieve your goals.
#3. A Physical Therapist Can Monitor Your Overall Health
Most runners know their body needs to be strong and healthy. This includes their bones, muscles, lungs, and heart.
A physical therapist will also help monitor your overall health, including watching for damage to soft tissue such as ligaments, tendons, muscles, knee pain, and nerve issues that can be caused by running. An experienced sports physical therapist can offer you soft tissue treatments that can help relieve pain and swelling and improve overall function and mobility to improve your running performance.
#4. A Physical Therapist Can Guide You to a Nutritionist
An essential component to building your endurance and strength is ensuring that you eat nutritious food. These foods will give you the nutrients and energy needed to optimize your running performance.
While most physical therapists don’t specialize in nutrition, they most likely know someone who does. Eating the proper nutrition ensures you have the necessary endurance and strength for your training and races if you run competitively.
#5. Physical Therapy Encourages Peak Performance
Most humans are creatures of habit. However, that can lead to getting stuck in a rut with your training. To optimize your peak performance, you want to avoid repetitive strain and doing the same thing repeatedly.
An experienced physical therapist will encourage you to reach your peak performance and coach you through various training methods. They can help you by adjusting tempo, varying speeds, and varying interval training to avoid sports injuries. Once you have mastered one form, they will give you new training or techniques to help you become the best runner possible.
Another example would be to ensure that you are doing other activities, such as yoga or swimming, to incorporate various types of stretches and movements that differ from the muscles you use while running. This will ensure you are strengthening different areas of your body.
#6. A Physical Therapist Can Help You With Recovery
There are many ways that physical therapy aids both hobby and competitive runners to run efficiently, effectively, and safely optimizing their running techniques to meet their personal best. The crucial component of a runner’s routine is maximizing your recovery time and ensuring that your body has proper rest. Overworking your muscles and putting a lot of stress on your joints will increase your chances of getting an injury.
You can do various things to help your recovery, such as getting a good night’s sleep, eating nutritious meals that support your body, or taking ice baths. Taking care of your mind and body when you are not running will go a long way in helping you to prevent injuries and ensure that you can run throughout your life.
Having a physical therapist in your corner who is experienced in helping runners will ensure that you receive professional advice and have a supporter cheering you on from the sidelines.
For Physical Therapy Services in Manatee and Sarasota County, Contact Coactiv Physical Therapy
At CoActiv Physical Therapy, we look at the whole body to ensure we identify and address the root cause of your issues. So whether you are a runner with hip pain, a triathlete experiencing knee pain, a mom with back pain, or a superstar athlete, we are here to help support and guide you to improve your overall health, wellness, and quality of life.
We treat our patients like family and care deeply about your success. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, and we will get you started on the road to recovery today!