Don’t Just Run To Get In Shape… Get in Shape to Run

Don’t Just Run To Get In Shape… Get in Shape to Run

Do you get in shape to run or do you run to get in shape? A lot of runners get injured because they jump into running in order to shed extra pounds from the holidays, but are dealing with muscle weakness that sets them up for injury. Watch the video below for more details, and click here if you want to learn the most common cause of running injury and some of the most important exercises to prevent it.

If you’re already dealing with a running injury in Austin, click here or the orange buttons above to request a completely free consultation with a running-expert physical therapist. We can quickly figure out what’s causing your pain and limiting your mileage without it costing you a dime.

I went to Carter Physical Therapy because of sciatica. I’d already had treatment by another Manual Therapist, which definitely helped, but I just wasn’t able to rid myself completely of nagging and occasionally painful effects. I should also add that I hadn’t been able to run for nearly a year because it would always re-aggravate the sciatica, and plane rides or car rides caused pain.

After several treatments I have ZERO sciatica pain. Not only that, but they helped correct a toe injury that has bothered me for many years. I should add that as a patient I had – and still have – responsibilities in the treatment. Nearly every day I do the stretches and exercises they prescribed. Those are an important part of successful treatment.

I’m back to running 10-12 miles a week. Incredible! Give Carter Physical Therapy a call if you have an injury. They are gifted therapists!

SCOTT R, AUSTIN TX

Video Transcription [Please excuse grammatical errors due to the conversational nature of the video]:

Hey guys! It’s Ben from CarterPT.

It’s Friday. Thank goodness! My beard is still growing so I apologize for that. I hope that everyone is having a good time and  running season is well underway. The mileage is really piling up, and people are already doing races here in Austin. We’ve got the Austin Marathon coming up in February and the 3m in January, so our runners are in full swing right now.

One thing I want to talk about for running is do you run to get in shape or do you get in shape to run?

It’s a really good point that I heard from a trainer when I was a young physical therapist. I thought it was really insightful. For most of us, we run to get in shape, especially since the holidays just started. Thanksgiving was here. Christmas is coming and you put on a couple extra pounds.

Then we’ll naturally want to do some running to stay in shape. But that can be a recipe for injury! It’s really important that you supplement your running with some strength training because it makes a big difference.

A couple years ago I was training for a half and I started having some knee pain. I really wasn’t doing a lot of training outside of running. My best runners are those who do other things besides run. They swim, they ride their bike, they play tennis, they golf, and they supplement their routines with other activities. So if you’re only logging miles because you want to hit a race, make sure that you’re introducing some strength workouts in the way.

Click here to learn some really important exercises for runners and how to prevent one of the most common causes of running injury. With the exercises at this link, you can start the process of getting in shape to run rather than just diving into runs and getting injured.

If you guys have any more questions, you can go to www.CarterPT.com/runners for more information. Thanks, take care!

Why do I have foot pain when I run?

Why do I have foot pain when I run?

Austin, Texas is full of runners. It is therefore also full of people with running injuries. That may sound like a joke, but it is an unfortunate truth. And foot pain is one of the most common areas of pain and injury for many runners. It takes the biggest impact of any body part for most runners (depending on your running form), so it’s no wonder that foot pain is so common among runners.

If you’re already experiencing foot pain, click here to request a free consultation where you’ll learn about a complete solution to your running injury. **And if your foot pain is specifically at the heel or arch, I highly suggest you also see our comprehensive guide to the causes and solutions of heel pain and plantar fasciitis.

Foot pain self-treatment

Though self-treatment has it’s limitations and isn’t likely to fully resolve a stubborn case of runner’s foot pain, one of our talented therapists recorded the video below to demonstrate some self-massage and mobilization techniques to help keep foot pain at bay as you ramp up your mileage.

I have been doing really well since I last went to Carter Physiotherapy. I have a 200 mile relay next weekend (Hood to Coast) and so far, so good with the training. I can feel my Achilles get tight after some of my longer runs, but I spend a good bit of time stretching it out like they showed me and haven’t had any problems after that. I think they also caught my IT band issue by pinpointing how I was rolling my foot outward.

Basically,  the therapists at Carter Physiotherapy are miracle workers… THANK YOU! I kept thinking I would have to come see you guys as I ramped up my training for the race next weekend, but I haven’t had any trouble yet. Of course, typical runner, I’m signed up for a 25k trail run in Nov and the 3M in January, so I still have you on speed dial #2 behind my mom. :)

 
MARY S, AUSTIN TX

If you are dealing with any foot pain/injury and would like to know how we can help, call or text us at (512) 693-8849.

If it’s after hours and you’d like to schedule a call with one of our expert physical therapists in Austin, click here to request a free phone consultation, or you can also click here to send us an email via our contact page.

Video Transcription

[Please excuse grammatical errors due to the conversational nature of the video]:

Hey guys! Ben from Carter PT here again.

Running season started, and many runners are experiencing discomfort when they run. One of the areas that I get a lot of tightness around is my feet. The feet take such a pounding. So it’s important to keep them mobile, loose, and fresh. What I’ll give you guys are some self treatment techniques for your own feet as those miles starts to climb.

Here are my feet. Look at that beautiful white pale foot. I like to work on some self treatment here. I’ll demonstrate what I like to do with my own feet. I self massage it like that, and I like to come across here and work that tissue. You could really dig into that foot right there. You can see some callouses from previous runs. I’ve really been working along the arch, which gets really tight and into the heel right there.

Might even get some pops or clicks sometimes. I like to pop my toes, loosen them up, and tug on them a bit. This is a really helpful self-treatment that I like to do for myself and I wiggle my toes as I do it.

So if you’re a runner and you’re struggling with some tightness in your feet, it’s a great self treatment technique to loosen them up. If you have any questions go to www.CarterPT.com. Thanks and take care.

 

A few more resources for runners in Austin:

Enjoy Trail Running? Click here to learn about our favorite 5 trail runs in Austin (includes descriptions of the runs, difficulty levels, and map locations).

Click here to learn some really important exercises for runners and how to prevent one of the most common causes of running injury.

If you know you want to learn some of the most important running-injury prevention exercises, click here to check them out.

If you’re already dealing with a running injury in Austin, click here or the orange buttons above to request a completely free consultation with a running-expert physical therapist. We can quickly figure out what’s causing your pain and limiting your mileage without it costing you a dime.

Tips on How to Choose the Best Running Shoes for YOU and Your Running Form

Tips on How to Choose the Best Running Shoes for YOU and Your Running Form

It can be confusing and overwhelming to figure out what kind of running shoes will be best for you, your feet, and your running style.  Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do when trying on shoes to make the choice easier.

If you’re dealing with a running injury in Austin, you can request a free consultation with one of Carter Physiotherapy’s running-expert physical therapists. We can quickly figure out what’s causing your pain and limiting your mileage—without it costing you a dime.

The Complexity of Shopping for Running Shoes in Austin

I recently asked one of our running injury and running shoe specialists his advice on how to pick the best running shoe. He answered, “If you go to a running store, you might find 50, 60, or 70 different options to choose from. It can be overwhelming even for me.” The reality is there are a lot of different options for a lot of different running forms.

Overpronation

One thing we often hear from our runner patients who have visited a few running shoe stores is, “I totally overpronate.” This concerns me because I’m not sure how the shoe store attendant is assessing overpronation. Are they properly trained to know how much pronation is normal and how much is too much?

Pronation is not a bad thing. We NEED to pronate … It’s appropriate and it’s how we transport forces around the body.

Just be cautious. Most people don’t need highly corrective, high-arch-support running shoes. When we overcorrect a runner’s feet, it tends to create a lot more problems. It can lead to new injuries as they run.

We should allow the foot to move appropriately and normally as possible. That is, we should utilize shoe correction and/or orthotics only as much as necessary.

Assessing running shoes

When you go to one of the many running shoe stores in Austin, they may suggest you assess a running shoe by jogging on their treadmill for a minute or two.

Unfortunately, that’s not really enough time to truly evaluate a shoe. You won’t know what it will do to your feet until you get home and start running 3, 4, 5 miles or more. However, most stores won’t take back shoes that were used on actual runs.

But there are a couple things you can do at the store to help choose the right running shoe. The shoe that makes you feel most stable and balanced during these tests is likely going to be the best choice for you.

  1. Single-leg balance: Balance on one foot (wearing the new shoe) for 30 seconds. If you’re all over the place and you can’t control your balance, it’s probably not the right shoe for you.
  2. Single-leg squat: While wearing the new shoe, do a squat using just one leg. If the new shoe helps you feel more stable than you feel with other shoes or while barefoot, it might be a good choice.

 

Other resources for runners in Austin:

Enjoy Trail Running? Click here to learn about our favorite 5 trail runs in Austin (includes descriptions of the runs, difficulty levels, and map locations)

Click here to learn some really important exercises for runners and how to prevent one of the most common causes of running injury

If you know you want to learn some of the most important running-injury prevention exercises, click here to check them out.

My therapist at Carter PT has been awesome. For 4 years I wore the same pair of shoes everywhere. Literally everywhere, not just exercising, they were the only pair of shoes I could wear without creating new feet/knee/hip pain and neuropathy. I truly feel I was led specifically to him after trying other PTs.

I tried all kinds of shoes and luckily took good notes about how I felt in most of them… He knows a lot about all of the different running shoe models. He went through the list in detail, worked with me for a few sessions to understand my difficulties, then went to a running store to evaluate options based on his assessment of me and all the details I gave him (not many people would take their own time to do this). This was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

He then suggested a few pairs of shoes. I ordered them and was shortly the proud wearer of a new pair of shoes! I seriously never thought that day would happen.

He has been an awesome PT and works with me at my speed to not flare up symptoms. I love having a full hour of his undivided attention. I look forward to working with him to get into another pair of shoes!

TB, AUSTIN TX

Request a Free Consultation

If you’re already dealing with a running injury in Austin, click here to request a completely free consultation with a running-expert physical therapist. We can quickly figure out what’s causing your pain and limiting your mileage without it costing you a dime.

 

 

“Why does it hurt again?”

Have you ever had an injury that you thought was resolved, but then one day you realize it’s beginning to hurt again? Did you think that you would have to live with this pain for the rest of your life?

If you are dealing with persistent pain and would like to know how we can help, call or text Carter Physiotherapy at (512) 693-8849.

Many of our patients tell us similar stories about a pain/injury that would resurface now and again, sometimes completely debilitating them—or at least keeping them from being able to exercise for a while. And unfortunately, many of them thought they would “just have to live with it.” They assumed they’d even be occasionally laid up by it … until they found us.

If it’s starting to hurt again, does that mean it will never heal?

It is not uncommon for some symptoms to return after you think your issue is resolved. In fact, now and again, some symptoms may return in our patients even after we have completed a successful course of therapy and the patient left the clinic pain-free and highly active.

If symptoms return after treatment has concluded, it doesn’t mean that you have had a big setback. Moreover, it doesn’t mean that PT wasn’t the full answer to the problem.

If you achieved pain-free status in PT before, it can be done again!

However, it is important to address the return of pain as soon as possible so it doesn’t become a bigger issue that takes multiple treatments to resolve.

For example, I experienced exactly this situation when I was a young therapist. I had been traveling for work, and when I returned I was having some intense low back pain. I knew that with a few treatments and some modification in movement that I would feel better fairly quickly. And that is exactly what happened. In 4-5 days, I was feeling much better after some much-needed treatment. 

What would make it hurt again?

So what did I do after a week of feeling really good? I decided it was a good idea to go hit some golf balls at the driving range.

My symptoms came back even though I had been feeling great. I had no complaints of pain with any movement, but I decided hitting 30 golf balls would be alright. Just that little strain of hitting a few chips brought my pain back.

I should’ve known better being a physical therapist. But I was feeling so good it was hard not to get out and test it a bit. The great thing was that I had access to great manual therapists who could fix me right up. I was back on the golf course the following week with no restrictions at all.

You do not have to live with the pain

The take-home point is this: Don’t let a little return of symptoms keep you from the things you love. If it was fixed before, it can be fixed again.

Sometimes a fire is not always out just because there aren’t flames. Fortunately, if you can address your symptoms quickly, they should resolve quickly.

Request a call with one of our Austin-area physical therapists if your injury has started to hurt again. We can get you back you to doing the things you love.

Our Top 5 Trail Runs in Austin

With all the great trail runs that Austin TX has to offer, it’s no wonder we have such a robust trail running community here. Some of our runner patients tell us there’s not a much better feeling than a great run out in nature. The only trouble is that it’s too easy to get distracted by the scenery and take your eyes off the ground! Then you end up spraining an ankle!

Running trails can be a great way to mix up your training and keep things interesting. And for some runners, it’s the only way they’ll go for a jog.

Injuries from Trail Runs

We treat a lot of trail-running injuries in our Austin physical therapy clinic. So for starters, we’d like to remind you to keep your eyes on the ground and watch for low-hanging branches too!

But here’s a quick pro tip if you do land wrong. The “rest and let it heal” advice many physicians will give you is not very good for ankle sprains.

Clinicians giving this advice are unaware of a couple things:

  1. The pain, swelling, and limitations from an ankle sprain can usually be resolved far faster with hands-on manual therapy techniques. Click here for an example of how quickly manual therapy for ankle sprain can get you back running on the trails.
  2. The pain from an ankle sprain will usually resolve over time. BUT without proper treatment, the range of motion in your ankle will often remain limited. Since the pain is gone, many people are unaware that their ankle is moving abnormally, and that abnormal movement can often lead to pain and injury elsewhere in the body.

So if you’re dealing with ankle sprains or any other injury, it’s most likely fixable much faster and more completely than if you just wait for it to heal!

Call or text 512-693-8849 (or click the orange buttons above) to request a FREE phone consultation or in-person physical therapy consultation at our manual physical therapy clinic in Austin.

Without further ado, he’re our list of favorites, including difficulty levels and maps to help you plan your next trail runs.

Our favorite 5 Trail Runs in Austin, Texas

1.Baton Creek Greenbelt

Difficulty: Hard

This classic 7.5-mile trail takes you through an expansive trail system just minutes away from downtown Austin. The trail begins at Barton Springs near downtown and ends up at the Hill of Life. There are some nice elevation changes as you near the finish with a 250 ft. climb over the last ½ mile.

 

 

This is a great trail run to really challenge the runner who wants a great way to start off their weekend. If the weather is warm feel free to jump into the creek if it is flowing. It is a great way to cool off and refresh you.

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2. Bull Creek Greenbelt
Difficulty: Moderate

A 2.9-mile trail that is less traveled than the Barton Creek Greenbelt trail. Don’t let that keep you away. This trail is less traveled but allows you to get shorter run with less elevation gain, if that is your muse.

This would be a great run to bring the dog with you and do a little swimming along the way. Just be careful as the trail can be a bit rocky at times.

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3. Slaughter Creek Trail
Difficulty: Moderate

Head to southwest Austin near Circle C and you will find a great 5-mile loop trail that offers more of a country feel with some slight elevation changes. A popular locale for mountain bikers, this trail offers a nice run for trail runners looking to get a great workout. Something to keep in mind: dogs are not allowed here so this would be a great place to focus on your solo runs and do some great speedwork due to little elevation changes. Imagine yourself running in the country just minutes away from downtown Austin. And you aren’t too far from grabbing some great BBQ at the Salt Lick just a few miles away in Driftwood.

 

4. Walnut Creek Trail
Difficulty: Easy

This 1.3-mile loop allows for some fast running due to the flatness of the trail. Bring the dog out for a nice easy run and enjoy. Be mindful, this trail can get pretty busy at times so be sure to get out there early to get a couple of loops in. This would be a great trail for those looking to run in a wooded area. It provides a nice canopy of trees for those hot summer runs.

 

5. Hill of Life    

Difficulty: Hard

This is a great area of the greenbelt to run if you are training for a course that has a fair amount of elevation changes. This rocky climb provides 300 feet of elevation gain in just over ⅓ of a mile. Hill repeats are for sure to prep for any trail or road run that has some challenging climbs. What better way to start off your day than getting out on the Hill of Life to get your heart rate up and challenge yourself on some rocky terrain? This run will surely challenge you in ways you haven’t been challenged before. A great getaway just minutes from downtown.

Have any favorite trail runs in the Austin area that aren’t mentioned above? Let us know about it in the comments so we can give it a try and other Austin runners visiting this page can as well. Thanks!

 

 

Part 3 – Why do I keep getting injured when I run?

Part 3 – Why do I keep getting injured when I run?

Many runners who make their way to our Austin-area physical therapy clinic are looking to understand why they struggle with recurring injuries. In part 2 of this article series on running injuries, we discussed the ways the foot can have a big impact on all the joints above and cause various running injuries. 

Are running injuries keeping you from the sport you love? Call or text us at 512-693-8849 to arrange a free consult with one of our running expert physical therapists.

In part 3 below, we will discuss the critical role of the hips and pelvis, and their importance to running without pain and injury.

The hip, or coxofemoral joint, is a classic ball-and-socket joint that attaches to your pelvis. It is inherently a very stable joint due to the depth that it possesses, but hip muscle weakness is incredibly common problem among runners.

One of the distinct signs we look for as bio-mechanical experts is a hip drop or, “Trendelenburg sign,” during stance phase (when the foot is on the ground).

What that means is that when you are on one leg while running we are looking if that opposite hip drops (see image below). If it drops significantly compared to the other side we know that hip weakness is present. Hip weakness can be attributed to back, hip, knee, and foot pain. That’s how important it is!

Running injury in Austin Texas

So how can you tell if you have this type of hip weakness and what can you do about it?

See the Video below to find out if you’re at risk for injury due to hip weakness, and learn 3 quick exercises you can do fix the problem.

 

At Carter Physiotherapy, we have set up a Running Analysis & Optimization lab to evaluate our runners’ strides to get to the root cause of their pain and provide corrective exercises to not only eliminate your pain but also prevent it from coming back. We use the latest technology with high-speed cameras and gait analysis software look at every aspect of your running. 

Click here to watch how it works!

Another key area we look at here at Carter Physiotherapy is the connection of the hip which is at the pelvis. Making sure your pelvis is level and balanced is critical to keeping you pain free and running well. We do this in a variety of ways such as soft tissue mobilization & massage, joint mobilization, corrective exercises, muscle energy techniques, clinical kinesiology, and even trigger point needling.

We are experts at balancing the pelvis to make sure that your hip muscles are firing well. As we are balancing your pelvis, we will prescribe exercises to help address those specific issues that we found. These corrective exercises will help you hold the work we have done and allow you to build strength on a more solid foundation.

If you’re having any pain on your runs, contact us to see if your hips/pelvis could be the root cause of the problem so you can get back on the trail and start running without pain again. (512) 693-8849

[RELATED REPORT] The Top 10 Causes of Running Injuries and How You Can Recover Faster if You’re Injured

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