Osteopaths are specialist doctors who have trained for five or six years after completing their medical degree. They have a deep understanding of the workings of the body, and can treat a wide range of conditions from headaches to back pain.

Many runners visit osteopaths for treatment after injury, because they often have a better understanding of how the body works when it comes to sport. The following are some common injuries that runners suffer, and how they may be treated by an osteopath:

Runner’s knee

Runner’s knee is caused by inflammation in one of your knee joints, typically the patella (the kneecap). In addition to pain and swelling around your knee, you might also experience stiffness or tightness when trying to bend your knee.

Your osteopath will examine your knee joint and look for any structural problems like misalignments in your bones or soft tissues around your joint. Once these issues have been addressed, they will work on improving mobility and strength around your knee so that it works properly again.

Shin splints

Shin splints can be caused by overtraining or by running on hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt without enough cushioning underneath your feet. This overuse injury causes pain in the lower leg along the shin bone (tibia), which is often felt during exercise but can linger afterwards too. It’s important to get treatment as soon as possible, as left untreated it can lead to more serious problems like stress fractures in the tibia or even compartment syndrome if there’s swelling inside your muscles due to bleeding from tiny tears in your muscle fibres.

Achilles tendonitis

Also known as ‘pump bump’ or ‘jogger’s heel’, this is inflammation at the back of your ankle. It can be caused by an increase in intensity and duration of exercise, as well as wearing worn-out shoes that don’t offer enough support for your feet and ankles.

IT band friction syndrome

This is pain along the outside of your thigh that can be caused by tightness in your hip flexors and abductors (muscles which open up your hips). A good stretch for these muscles would be side leg raises.

Plantar fasciitis

A thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes, plantar fasciitis occurs when this tissue becomes inflamed or irritated as a result of excessive pressure or stress on it during running. Plantar fasciitis may also be caused by an ankle sprain with excessive stretching of the ligaments around the ankle joint (peroneal tendonitis).

Click here to see more running injuries osteopaths can treat.