How Clinical Pilates Can Help with Running-Related Injuries

While Pilates has mainly been associated with low back pain management, it can also be an effective way to help runners overcome running-related injuries.  The most common reason why a runner starts to experience pain and discomfort is because of increases in running mileage or speed.  This commonly leads to patellofemoral pain (pain around the knee joint), shin splints and achilles tendinopathy.  While managing your running mileage and pace can help reduce the symptoms, exercises targeting muscles and tendons in the lower body is an important part of returning to pain-free running.  Pilates can be a great way to challenge these muscles in a low impact way to improve their ability to tolerate running again.

Reformer-based Pilates can be utilized to challenge the following:

Isometric exercises for tendon pain
  • Gluteus and quad strength
  • Calf strength and flexibility
  • Hip Range of motion
  • Landing mechanics and plyometrics

A nagging running injury should be assessed thoroughly in order to establish a treatment plan.  It should involve a running assessment on and off the treadmill, strength and flexibility assessment for the lower body and a discussion about footwear.  Please consult with a physiotherapist whether pilates-based exercises are appropriate for you in order to return you back to the road as soon as possible.

Written By: Derek Lai, Physotherapist