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A Comprehensive Guide to Returning to Running After Injury With Personalized Care at A Step Ahead Physical Therapy

By: Matt Jacobson PT, DPT, ATC 

Are you eager to hit the pavement again but struggling with a running injury? At A Step Ahead Physical Therapy, we specialize in helping runners recover with personalized care tailored specifically to your needs.

Understanding Common Running Injuries

Running is a fantastic way to stay fit and healthy, but it can also put significant stress on your body. Common injuries we frequently treat in runners include:

  • Stress Fractures: Small cracks in bones, often in the feet or shins, typically caused by overtraining or sudden increases in running intensity.

  • Achilles Tendonitis: Pain and inflammation in the Achilles tendon, which connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. It can occur from overuse, improper footwear, or tight calf muscles.

  • Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome): Pain around or behind the kneecap, often due to poor alignment of the kneecap with the thigh bone during movements like running or jumping.

  • Plantar Fasciitis: Sharp pain in the heel or along the arch of the foot, especially noticeable in the morning or after long periods of standing, caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia.

  • IT Band Syndrome: Pain on the outside of the knee or thigh from irritation and inflammation of the iliotibial band, a thick band of connective tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh and knee.

Each injury requires a specific treatment approach to ensure proper healing and reduce the risk of recurrence.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in the recovery process for runners. Here are some key benefits:

  • Personalized Care: At A Step Ahead Physical Therapy, we take the time to understand your injury, running history, and personal goals. Our comprehensive, full-body assessments pinpoint the root cause of your injury, allowing us to develop a customized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.

  • Targeted Rehabilitation: Our treatment plans combine manual therapy techniques, therapeutic exercises, stretching routines, and modalities such as cupping or dry needling with or without electrical stimulation. These therapies are designed not only to alleviate pain but also to improve flexibility, restore strength, and enhance endurance specific to running.

  • Gradual Return to Running: We emphasize a gradual and progressive approach to reintroducing running into your routine. Starting with gentle activities like walking and gradually increasing intensity and duration helps ensure that your body adapts safely to the demands of running.

  • Education and Prevention: Beyond rehabilitation, we empower you with knowledge about injury prevention strategies, proper warm-up and cool-down techniques, appropriate footwear selection, and how to modify your training routine for long-term success with your health and performance.

Why Choose A Step Ahead Physical Therapy?

At A Step Ahead Physical Therapy, we are passionate about helping runners of all levels overcome injuries and achieve their running goals. Our team of experienced physical therapists provides the highest quality of care. Whether you're recovering from a recent injury or looking to optimize your performance, we're here to support you on your journey back to running.

Don’t let a running injury derail your passion for running any longer! Reach out to us today at (770) 998-6636.


Matt joined A Step Ahead Physical Therapy in 2022 and has been a physical therapist since graduating from Brenau University with his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2020. He enjoys using his background in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine when working with athletes and active adults.  Since becoming a PT, he has started to develop a niche working with the geriatric population, especially with Balance and Fall Prevention.



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