Running is a great way to get in shape and improve your health, but health experts say if you’re experiencing pain when you run, it may be time to check a few things before you hit the track.
Kath Kinross, a physical therapist with Lee Health, says if runners experience pain in the knees, hips, or feet, it could be a problem with their gait. “They’re very common and I think that’s an important thing to remember is that you don’t have to have a perfect running gait to run, but if you’re having problems then it’s probably worth seeing someone.”
Kinross helps patients identify problems while they run. “What we have is basically a treadmill with two video motion caption cameras, one pointing from the outside and one pointing from behind. They are linked to a computer so that we can look at your running,” said Kinross.
The cameras record the patient running for about 30 seconds. Physical therapists are then able to watch the video back in slow motion and point out any problems with the patient’s running form or footwear. “I’m going to look and see if they are tipping their head to one side, their shoulders, is one arm sort of swinging out in a funny way to one side? The hips, very often, particularly with ladies, we might see a hip sort of drop to one side which could be a sign of weakness in the hips or core. We’re going to look at the knees and see does a knee kind of turn in, or does it sort of cross over,” said Kinross.
Kinross can also identify what the runner needs to work on, what muscles need to be strengthened or stretched, and what shoes the runner needs to wear. “Some people run on their toes, some people land more on their heels, other people have a tendency for the foot to turn inwards,” said Kinross.
Depending on the problem, she may recommend different running shoes and exercises to help runners improve their form and minimize the pain. “There are specific exercises to build that strength up or little drills to do while you’re running to try to help shorten your stride,” said Kinross.
All to improve your run and lessen the pain.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.