Rediscover Physio

Physiotherapy guide: Return to running after injury.

Rediscover Physio

Rediscover Physio

The hardest part about recovering from a running injury is actually returning to running.

‘This is mostly because of a poor understanding of the running injury, with a belief that it was the final run that caused the injury, not a build up of runs. This often leads to people trying to return to running with too
much and too soon.

Too often we hear the following story:

Jane is a runner, currently training for a marathon and has recently started to develop “runners knee” also commonly called *patellofemoral pain syndrome,” which is pain in the front of the knee with running.

The pain was mild when it first started after a long run on the weekend, coming on after 25km. Jane told her coach because it hurt to go up stairs and walk for a few days and took it easy. After a few days everything settled down 50 Jane did another run. However, this time her pain began at the 6km mark.

Jane decided to take 3 weeks off training to let the injury settle down. On the first run back, a Skm run she experiences no pain and is relieved. The next day Jane runs again but experienced pain within 2km.

This can become a vicious circle of injury and wil last for the length of time it takes for a runner to seek injury advice from a physiotherapist with running injury rehabilitation experience.

So what should have happened:

If you have to stop running for longer than 2 weeks due to a running injury, then seeking physiotherapy and following a carefully controlled return to running plan is required.

This should be managed by your pain levels, with anything under a 3/10 pain that is gone within 24 hours as an acceptable amount of pain. Meaning that the moment you reach a 3-4/10 in running pain then you stop running for that day. And if your pain takes longer then 24 hours to settle down then you should adjust your next session to something easier.

The return to running after a 2 week or more break due to injury should look at a walk and run return.
Gradually building from a 1 min run and 4 minute walk to a continuous run, with rest days in between runs.
‘Once you can run 20-30 minutes continuously you can further progress following a graduated building of running program.

If you have been suffering from a running injury and are having difficulty returning to running, call our physiotherapists who have experience in running injury management at Rediscover Physio on 0420 474 447.

Physiotherapy guide: Return to running after injury.

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