SV Sports Therapy: Olivia’s running rehab tips
Health / Mon 12th Feb 2024 at 11:06am
TENDINOPATHY rehabilitation works slightly differently to that of a muscle or joint, it is all down to managing and optimising the ‘load’.
In order to maintain a healthy and pain-free tendon we have to:
1. Reduce pain
2. Improve and build strength
3. Increase power
4. Implement this into the requirements of the sport/activity
Depending on the location of your tendinopathy, your tendon will respond (react) to the activity differently. This will also depend on the intensity and frequency of your running.
Firstly, reducing your running to a minimal or none in the beginning is the best approach to ensure pain is reduced and you are avoiding activities that aggravate your symptoms. Then slowly begin strength work as soon as possible.
Isometrics have been proven to be an effective way to improve tendon pain. These types of exercises involve placing the muscles/tendon under a certain tension for a period of time and then releasing. These are often in a body weight form, where no weight is required.
An example of this would be a wall sit at 90 degrees and holding for 30 seconds or a lunge hold.
Secondly, you need to improve your functional strength and power to maintain muscle/tendon capacity. This could be done in the form of resistance/weight training, by which heavy loads can be placed to generate the force needed in the injured area.
Without good strength your tendon will struggle when placed under stress during a run as it will not have the capacity to withstand forces when pushing off the ground.
For example, if you have patella tendinopathy – strengthen the muscles around the knee such as your quadriceps, hamstrings and adductor muscles by doing heavy loaded squats, lunges with weights, romanian deadlifts and other functional based exercises.
But remember… gradually increase the load on muscle and tendon whilst considering pain.
The best way is to adapt your training based on your symptoms and the intent is not to overload!!
This can then be implemented with your training, it may be that you need to cut back on your mileage for a few weeks whilst symptoms settle, reduce the amount of runs you complete in a week to allow more time for strength work and to recover.
Tendon rehabilitation can be complex and is not always easy, everybody will respond in different ways. It can be hard to know what to do, which is why seeking professional help if you’re unsure is always best.