Sports Injuries

The range of injuries acquired from playing Sports is immense, and are mainly dealt with by Sports Physiotherapists and Soft Tissue Therapists. However there are a few particular injuries which can be helped with the addition of Orthotic intervention. Such injuries are often referred by Therapists to the clinic.

If you have a specific problem you wish to discuss then please do contact me and I will be pleased to discuss your issues with you, and if necessary refer you to the correct specialist.

Please click on the links below for more information on the these conditions.

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome - (Shin Splints)

Problem

The cause of MTSS is inflamation of the sheath surrounding the tibia due to stress and traction on the muscles of the lower leg. The pain is felt over the lower inside half of the shin.

Quite often the pain can ease with exercise, but returns at completion and is often worse the next day. Occasionally there can be swelling and pain can occur when the toes are pointed downwards.

Overpronation or oversupination are considered prime causes of this condition. Limitation of the surrounding muscles, particularly in the calf muscles also contribute.

Solutions

Initially we would recommend resting, and no physical weightbearing exercise. Icing the area regularly will help reduce the inflamation. A gentle stretching programme would be advised. We would also recommend soft tissue work to aid recovery.

One of the main therapies however, would be the use of orthotics. Because this condition is mainly caused by over pronation and stressing the lower leg muscles, a full Biomechanical Evaluation would be recommended. It is important to do this as soon as possible after the onset of this condition. An orthotic will stabilize the pronation and hold the foot in a correctly aligned position, which inturn will speed up recovery.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome - ITB

Problem

This is a common running injury and is quite often referred to as runners knee. The iliotibial band is a superficial thickening of tissue on the outside of the thigh, extending from the outside of the pelvis, over the hip and knee and inserting just below the knee. The band stabilizes the knee during running, and moves from behind the femur to the front whilst walking. The continual rubbing of the band over the lateral femoral epicondyle, combined with the repeated extension and flexing of the knee during running can cause this area to become inflamed. This would occur particularly if the tracking is slightly out of alignment.

The symptoms range from pain just above the knee joint on the outside of the knee or along the entire length of the ITB, to swelling or thickening of the tissue. The pain usually occurs about one mile into a run. Its described as a dull ache which remains for the rest of the run. It stops after the run, but unfortunately it can increase in intensity with each run.

The causes are usually listed as, overtraining, not warming up sufficiently, a tightness of the ITB and/or a lack of stretching in this area, and overpronating.

Solution

In the short term - Stop Running! Icing three to four times a day to reduce inflamation and we also recommend deep tissue massage to accelerate healing.

In the longer term. A good stretching and exercise programme should be introduced and maintained regularly. Also a full Biomechanical Evaluation is recommended so that a good analysis of the cause can be established.

If overpronating is one of the main causes of this injury, then orthotic intervention would be suggested for someone wishing to continue running, and here at Dorset Biomechanics we can create a device particularly suitable for either general running, or marathon and long distance running. The shapes and designs of our running orthoses are all slightly different, and each one will be created to your exact needs and specifications.

Planter Fasciitis

Problem

This can be quite a common injury for runners when they up their training for a particular event. Also people who start running but are not actually biomechanically designed to run and have limitations in the calf muscle compartment, can often find themselves with this problem as they get fitter, increase their training, lengthen their runs, or speed up.

Sometimes called 'The Policemans Heel'. This pain is caused by the overstretching and sometimes tearing of the fascia. The fascia is a strong band of tissue which stretches under the sole of the foot from the heel to the toes. It supports the arch and also acts as a shock absorber in the foot. The pain is often located in the centre of the heel, or it can sometimes occur on the inside edge of the heel. Pain is most often present in the morning when the feet are first placed on the ground or after sitting for a time and then standing. Excessive activity - long walks, running and sports can very often initiate this problem.

Feet which pronate excessively (fall inwards and flatten) or feet which have limited ankle flexibility and a tight achilles tendon are particularly prone to Planter Fasciitis. When the muscles around the heel and along the long arch are constantly stressed and stretched tight with just everyday walking, then it doesn't take much to injure the area. Taking up a sport for the first time for example, going on a particularly long hilly walk, or upping your running distance because you are training for a race, can be all it takes to create this injury.

Solution

Recovery from Planter Faciitis takes many weeks, sometimes months. There are several actions we would initially take at the Clinic. Taping the area in a secure aligned position would be recommended and we would advise on a gentle stretching programme. Gentle stretching of the area has consistently proven very effective in aiding recover.

The use of a heel lift to offload weight, and a gel heel cup complete with the wearing of trainers with good shock attenuation, can really assist with the pain whilst the area heals. Here at Dorset Biomechanics we have also found that deep tissue therapy is very effective.

If the pain is extremely severe an ultra sound guided injection is very often effective in relieving the symtoms and assisting recovery, and we would refer you to our local Orthopeadic Surgeon for this treatment.

Achilles Tendonitis

Problem

This is a condition which causes pain, swelling and stiffness around the achilles tendon. It is an injury which affects mainly runners and sports people, although this is not always the case.

Inflammation of the achilles will occur just slightly above the heel bone and is mainly caused through congenitally tight or a functionally contracted gastrocnemius/soleus complex. Another cause is strenuous athletic activity. This is quite a common running injury, which occurs when a person with limitations in the calf muscle compartment starts upping their distances, or speed.

Some of the most common reasons for this injury are:

  • Increased training and therefore overuse.
  • High arched Feet.
  • Tight or underdeveloped hamstring muscles
  • Weak calf muscles.
  • Poor range of movement at the ankles.
  • Pronating feet.

This injury is often exacerbated by a pronated foot type which causes the achilles tendon to operate in torqued and twisted position. For this reason it is not always a Sports Injury. A person who does not exercise, but has a very pronated foot, and limited ankle movement, can develop this problem simply by walking uphill, or leaping onto bus or off the pavement.

Solution

If we feel that the main cause of this injury is the pronation of your feet, then we will discuss the use of an orthotic with you. The orthotic will not cure the current injury, but can help speed recovery and prevent further reoccurrence.

Once presented at the clinic one of the first therapies would be to tape the ankle area and hold the foot in a stable neutral position. If this gives instant relief for the pain, then it will be giving you some idea of the relief obtained by wearing an orthotic device.

We would advise resting until the injury is resolved, and this could be some weeks. We would also discuss in depth the reasons for the injury and advise on running shoes if necessary (incorrect footwear can often be involved in the cause of this injury). A heel lift fitted into the shoes can be most helpful in offloading the pressure on the injured area.

We would recommend icing the area several times a day and offer an exercise programme of gentle stretching. We would almost certainly refer you to a Soft Tissue Specialist for massage. In some cases ultrasound is effective.

It is important to treat this injury seriously as it can become a chronic injury if not given enough time to heal properly.

Knee Injuries

Problem

The Knee is a very complex part of the anatomy and one of the largest joints in the body. It is also a very vulnerable joint and overuse injuries and trauma are common problems for athletes.

In the main, athletes who have a serious knee problem would have visited their chosen clinician. When trauma has not occurred, they might be referred to our clinic if their therapist feels that faulty biomechanics are the cause of the problem.

Occasionally however, we are the first port of call. This is usually when a small niggling knee pain on the inside of outside of the knee is starting to be a problem,. This is a common complaint with runners, perhaps after three or four miles into a run and is often referred to as Runners Knee. It is very often helped with the use of orthotic intervention. In such cases we would recommend a full Biomechanical Evaluation.

We always work closely with physiotherapists and would refer any knee injuries to our local Sports Therapist for further evaluation.

Solution

Runners and athletes in general are more likely to have knee problems because of the extra stress they place on their knees, and this can be exacerbated with either over pronating feet, or over supinating feet.

At Dorset Biomechanics we would be concerned with either the overpronating foot or the over supinating foot, and its effect on the knee joint. A biomechanical examination would advised and if necessary orthotics would be prescribed. When the foot pronates excessively there is internal tibial rotation occurring which can over a period of time result in knee pain – usually the inside of the knee is affected.

Runners with high arched feet, and a supinatory gait are also vulnerable to knee injuries. High arched feet are often feet which are very limited in their movement, and therefore there is no flexibility and shock attenuation as the foot strikes the ground – this in turn can create a jarring effect on the knee.

We have a range of sports othotics available to us, all made with varying shells, and to our prescription which would benefit all foot types.





My son came to Dorset Biomechanics on recommendation from a Physiotherapist. He had been having some lower back problems and had very poor posture. Orthotics changed his life, and I would recommend a visit to Dorset Biomechanics to anyone having similar problems.

I had been running as a fund raiser for about 5 years when I developed Plantar Fasciitis as a result of my particular biomechanics. I had a thorough video gait analysis done by Dorset Biomechanics which suggested I would benefit from orthotics. These worked well. Since experiencing these beneficial results I have recommended Dorset Biomechanics to many people and have no hesitation in continuing to do so.

I had a biomechanical evaluation done by Dorset Biomechanics and can recommend this to any sports person who thinks they might have problems with their running technique.

My son is a very keen cricketer, aged 11.
He played for his school, and was starting to play at junior county level, but was having knee pain. My Osteopath recommended Dorset Biomechanics and he was fitted with sports orthotics. They made an instant difference, and he has now had three pairs, due to growth and at 14 is still playing cricket without pain of any type. Getting orthotics for my son was the best money I have spent.

Osteoarthritis had over the years affected my knees and at 56 I was limited in terms of activity and comfort. After a visit to Dorset Biomechanics I received my first pair of orthotics and they made so much difference to my life. I can now walk so much further and in comfort. The Foot Clinic has an excellent reputation in the area and I have no hesitation in recommending her.

My Osteopath recommended me to Dorset Biomechanics as my hip, back and shoulder problems were worsening. Once I had my orthotics I immediately felt the benefits. Walking long distances were no longer a problem and my hip and low back problems resolved. Because of this, I took up running for the first time in my life. I have lost weight and feel good. Last year I completed my first triathlon. I have never looked back.

I consulted with The Foot Clinic at Dorset Biomechanics as I had pain in my right thigh. I had previously consulted my GP Chiropractor, Osteopath, and had epidurals and painkillers and physio. Walking made it worse. The Foot Clinic diagnosed ITB which is often caused by overpronation. Since I received my orthotics I have had no problems and can now walk without pain.

Having arrived at the point when walking more than a few hundred yards was becoming a serious problem, I can now quite literally walk for miles with none of my original foot pain. For me orthoses have been one of the best investments I have ever made.

My Osteopath suggested I consult with Dorset Biomechanics as he suggested my back pain which was increasing, could be because of my poor posture. Since I received my orthotics even my family have noticed I am now walking 'normally'. My life has changed for the better thanks to The Foot Clinic. I would recommend a visit.

I am an Ultra Runner with a very distinctive running style. Unfortunately this style was causing me injury after injury and I wasn't running as efficiently as I should. After spending pounds and attending many sessions with my Physio, I decided to visit Dorset Biomechnics. I got a good assessment from someone who really knows about my sport and this is now making a tremendous difference to my running. Great service and support, money well spent.

My son went to see The Foot Clinic at Dorset Biomechanics on the recommendation of his Physio. He had low back problems and very poor posture. He wanted to join the Army, but there was no way he could run and get fit enough to enter. After a thorough examination he was prescribed orthotics. The transformation was amazing! His posture changed, his confidence grew, and he got fit enough to be accepted into the Army. He now often runs 10 miles at the weekends. I can honestly say a visit to Dorset Biomechanics changed his life. Highly recommended.