Are you an injured runner? What to expect from your initial Physiotherapy consultation.
Whether you run regularly for fun, fitness, or serious competition, chances are at some stage you will have faced an injury setback. This can be a very frustrating time and it is often tempting to ‘push through the pain’ and continue running in hope that an injury will ‘just go away’. In some instances, you might get lucky but often running through pain of an unknown cause without appropriate assessment can lead to a long term injury and interrupted running.
Getting your injury assessed by an experienced professional before it becomes a persistent problem will often result in a shorter recovery time and see you back running at your full potential sooner. Successfully managing running related injuries requires specialised knowledge, experience and a unique set of skills. Physiotherapists acquire such skills through further training, study and by working closely with runners on a regular basis.
A thorough initial assessment is the critical first step in overcoming your running related injury. If you are seeing a Physiotherapist for the first time you should expect to discuss in detail the following points:
• Current and past injury history.
• Pain behaviour (i.e. how your pain responds during and after running).
• How far can you run without pain (i.e. your run tolerance)?
• Other factors that may aggravate your injury.
• What makes your injury feel better?
• Detailed account of current training structure including any recent changes to training routine, footwear, surfaces etc.
• Your running goals and your motivation for running.
These questions will allow the Physiotherapist to streamline the physical examination. The goal of the physical examination is to confirm the suspected injury diagnosis and identify contributing factors to injury that need to be addressed. This is done by assessing your muscle strength and flexibility; joint range of movement; and movement control with tasks such as a single leg squat or hop. In cases of longer term injuries, it is important that a thorough video analysis of your running technique is also undertaken to screen for biomechanical contributing factors.
From here your Physiotherapist will explain your diagnosis, why it has occurred, how long it will take to overcome, and work closely with you to set goals and develop an individualised management plan including how your current training routine needs to be modified in the short term to assist your recovery.
James Alexander - Physiotherapist