November 6, 1990
Two days after running the Marine Corps Marathon seems an appropriate time to write this first edition of The Injury Report, a new column devoted to the prevention and treatment of running injuries. After all, with the way my legs feel right now, I couldn’t have much else on my mind!
Let’s start with some introduction. My name is Gabe Yankowitz. I am a physical therapist in private practice in Syracuse. Although the majority of patients I treat are seen for general orthopedic problems — low back and neck pain, post-surgery or fracture rehabilitation, joint sprains, muscle strains, etc. — my special interest is in the biomechanical evaluation and treatment of lower extremity injuries, usually (but not always) involving runners. This is a multifaceted process, taking into account a host of factors including the athlete’s symptoms, training, history of onset, pain-pattern, muscle length/strength, skeletal structure and movement (walking/running) patterns, to list a few. Basically, my aim is always to find the cause for the injury and to address that, rather than simply treat the affected body part with therapeutic modalities. While heat, ice, whirlpools, ultrasound and the like all have a role in the rehabilitation of many injuries, they very often afford only temporary relief if the underlying cause for the problem remains.
What I hope to offer in this space, then, is some insight into some of the predominant causes of the most common running injuries, how to avoid them as the first priority but, if contracted, how to best deal with them. My goal is to provide useful information to the average runner in a general, minimally technical way and to present this in a fresh manner, so as to not merely paraphrase the already redundant information available in the many running publications and periodicals.
While I have several topics planned for future issues, I would be happy to address those areas of concern to fellow Chargers. If you would like to see a particular topic discussed here, please write to me in care of the Charger Newsletter. I will certainly try to respond to questions that reflect common problems among runners.
As for my first topic in next month’s column, I will try to explain “Training-Error Injuries” or, “Why you can’t run 43 miles in the space of 12 hours and hope to get away with it.” See you then.