By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: October 2008
Lori Dreiling, owner of Fleet Feet Sports, assesses Kristin Bunch’s gear and range of motion while she’s running on the store’s treadmill.
Fall is a favorite season for many distance runners and is often the time of year they are training for an event, such as the Tulsa Run or the Route 66 marathon or half-marathon. “With so many people training, injuries are going to happen,” said Lori Dreiling, owner of Fleet Feet Sports in Tulsa. Lori and her team see numerous runners with pain and injury in their knees, shins and feet.
“Runners typically experience soft tissue injuries,” said Lori. “We see ITB Syndrome, patella tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, shin splints and general knee pain.” The first step the Fleet Feet team takes when a runner comes in with pain is to assess their gear. “Through our personal fit process, we make sure they are wearing the right gear. When you’re training for an event, it is vital that you don’t skimp on footwear, socks and a better insole. We also watch them on the in-store treadmill to analyze the amount of motion they have in their feet.”
Next, Lori and her staff discuss the runner’s training schedule. “Many people ramp up their miles too quickly, setting themselves up for injury,” says Lori. “We make sure they include stretching after their run. Doing yoga a couple times a week will also help reduce the chance of injury.”
Fleet Feet can recommend several products to deal with pain, including knee straps, shin splint compression sleeves, IT band wraps and Cho-Pat knee straps. “We offer solutions for discomfort, but if someone is experiencing residual or extreme pain, they need to see a medical professional,” said Lori. “Runners have a tendency to run through pain, treating the symptoms rather than getting to the heart of the matter. But once injury strikes, it is time to see a professional. Even if you’re doing everything right – such as wearing the proper gear and stretching – injuries can still occur, and they need to be treated by a doctor.”
One of the doctors Lori works with in keeping her customers in top training form is Dr. Ronald S. LaButti, an orthopedic surgeon with Central States Orthopedic Specialists.
“People often experience onset of pain and stiffness due to a sudden change in activity levels, including training for a marathon,” said Dr. LaButti. “We explore a variety of options for this pain, including bracing, physical therapy and activity modification.”
Most of the people Dr. LaButti treats for joint pain caused by running are experiencing an overuse problem, such as tendonitis or muscle imbalance. As Lori mentioned, the problem could be that a runner’s training schedule is too demanding. “We examine their activity level and modify as necessary; often patients are simply going too far, too fast,” said Dr. LaButti. “Next we devise a physical therapy plan with stretching and focal exercises, which focus on certain muscle groups to stabilize the joint. It is vital to train the muscles around the joint to make them work more effectively.”
Other treatments offered for joint pain include anti-inflammatory medications and bracing. According to Dr. LaButti, surgery is rarely a necessary option for these patients.
If you are experiencing aches and pains since you began your fall training program, stop by Fleet Feet, located in KingsPointe Village at 61st and Yale, or call Dr. LaButti’s office at (918) 481-2767.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.