Coburg Osteopathic Clinic Blog


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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Do you enjoy running?  Why choose to see an Osteopath ?


I thought the best way to explain this is to present a recent case that presented to our clinic this week.  A healthy, fit 35 year old lady that normally completes 3-4 running training sessions per week presented with ankle pain that restricted her running, to the point of having to cease running training at approximately 200 metres. She was initially training to compete in a 42 km run in 2 weeks time.

She had been having ongoing treatment for 6 months with this injury.  Initially she attended 3 months of weekly physiotherapy sessions for an “unstable ankle”.  She underwent ankle taping, wobble board strengthening exercises, calf raises, orthotics to assist with foot mechanics, all with very minimal success. 

She then tried Chiropractic for a restricted lumbar spine and received weekly manipulations to her neck and low back to help her overall alignment and gait mechanics because she had been limping to protect the ankle for 3 months.  The things that stood out in her history of this injury to me were that she had been told she had an unstable ankle and a restricted lumbar spine.

Upon my Osteopathic assessment, her right ankle was restricted (not unstable) with only 12 degrees of flexion available (normal being >35 degrees) and her left hip was limited in extension not from a mobility issue but from a weakness in motor control of her left hip.  She did not have the ability to fire the muscles that extended her hip.  This caused her to slap her right foot during the landing phase of her walking and running gait, and her right knee was overextending to compensate for the lack of mobility in her right ankle. There was additional compensation evident through her spine. 

The Osteopathic treatment she received involved both her feet, ankles, knees, hips, pelvis, spine and diaphragm.  This included hands on treatment and active exercises.  I am hoping this highlights the fact that for any lower limb injury, there is always going to be compensation further up the body and this also needs to be addressed.  It is not enough to focus purely on the sight of the pain because we are complicated beings.

At Coburg Osteopathy and Health Services, we enjoy the challenge of getting you back to running better, further, faster, pain free and efficiently.  Feel free to share with your fellow running friends.

The team at Coburg Osteopathy and Health Services