Author Archive | Ben Shatto

The Number One Reason Why You Won’t Reach Your Training Goals

photo-1421091242698-34f6ad7fc088The number one reason why runners won’t reach their goals is also one of the most preventable reasons: injury! Nothing derails a perfectly developed training plan like an injury.

The most common injury to runners is also the most common injury for those in the western world: low back pain (LBP). LBP is estimated to affect nearly 80% of the U.S. population at one time or another. And worse yet, once you have experienced an episode of LBP you have a 90% chance of having a reoccurrence. Continue Reading →

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The 3 Most Common Mistakes Runners Make That Can Cause Low Back Pain

MultifidusMusclesLow back pain (LBP) is one of the most prevalent medical conditions treated in the United States and throughout the western world.

Avoiding the following most common mistakes can save you from costly medical visits, prescriptions, chiropractic visits, and physical therapy services.

More importantly, avoiding injury and LBP insures that you can keep training and racing to your heart’s content!

Continue Reading →

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Masters Runners: Body Changes and Injury Prevention Strategies

SeniorRunnerThe question most often asked in regard to the older runner: Is it safe?

The answer is yes! Running can actually help to decrease some of the physiological declines that occur with age.

Who is considered to be an older or masters runner? Typically, masters runners are over the age of 40. Shocked? Me, too!

While it’s true that getting older is not for the faint of heart, it’s also true that if you do nothing, the following age related declines in physical functioning will occur regardless.

Continue Reading →

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How to Self-Treat Metatarsalgia

Pain in the female footMetatarsalgia is a general term that refers to pain in the foot (typically around the ball of the foot).

It’s common in runners, track and field athletes, and for those who participate in high impact related sports (such as basketball and soccer). It’s also commonly associated with overuse syndrome.

Metatarsalgia is pain and irritation at the end of the metatarsal joints near the toes. Potential causes for the pain include: a stress fracture; gout; osteoarthritis; hammertoes; calluses; and pain in the joint from swelling and irritation. It can also be from neuromas, in which nerves tend to bundle and become irritated between the metatarsal heads. Continue Reading →

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How to Avoid Upper Back Pain When Running

Man with backache. Pain in the human bodyImagine how much the average person actually slouches during a day.

Slouching during breakfast, then hunched over the kitchen sink to wash dishes, slouching while driving a car, and then slouching while sitting at work or at a school desk.

Don’t forget about slouching while texting, watching TV or using the computer. When you are not slouching, you’re bending over to clean or pick up children and/or pets. The list of slouching possibilities is endless!

Now envision your running posture. Does it look any different? Many of us run in a forward head and rounded shoulders position–a slouched posture! Runners experience many of the same aches and pains as their sedentary counter parts. Upper back and neck pain is a common occurrence. The most typical cause is almost always poor posture. Continue Reading →

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How to Self-Treat Posterior Tibialis Pain

FallenArchesThe most common cause of pain along the inside (medial) portion of your ankle when running may also be associated with the most common reason for adult acquired flatfoot.

It’s likely something most of us haven’t ever heard of before. Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD), also known as posterior tibial tendon syndrome or tibialis posterior syndrome, can develop into a tibialis posterior tendon insufficiency which causes a fallen arch. Continue Reading →

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How to Prevent and Self-Treat Shin Splints

ShinSplints_ArrowsThe term shin splints, also known as an anterior compartment syndrome, refers to pain along the shinbone (tibia), the large bone in the front of your lower leg.

Shin splints can be excruciatingly painful to the point that you may struggle to walk or run. They are typically caused by inflammation in the anterior muscle of the lower leg known as the anterior tibialis muscle.

This is the primary muscle needed to lift your foot. Shin splints are often considered an over use injury and unfortunately, are relatively common in runners.

Discover the common causes for shin splints and implement these strategies to prevent and self-treat shin splints. Continue Reading →

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How to Self-Treat Runner’s Knee

Dr. Ben uses a lacrosse ball to work the tissue above the patella.

Dr. Ben uses a lacrosse ball to work the tissue above the patella.

Patellar Femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), also known as runner’s knee, is a common running related issue. The sooner you can manage this condition, the easier it will be to recover and eliminate future problems.

As part of a quick and thorough method of treatment, first address the biomechanical causes for the pain. Then utilize the following strategies to quickly recover from the pain in order to keep training and running at a high level. Continue Reading →

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15 Tips to Self-Treat Achilles Tendinitis

Fit man gripping his injured calf muscle on a sunny dayAchilles tendinitis tends to affect runners more than any other group or athletic population. There is typically a high correlation to the amount of activity and volume performed in relation to biomechanical abnormalities and training errors which lead to Achilles tendinitis or tendinopathy.

The Achilles serves as the conjoined tendon for both calf muscles, the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. Achilles tendinitis (also called tendonitis) is a serious condition for any athlete as it typically means a significant reduction in training volumes and modification to training routines. A complete stopping of sporting activities may be necessary in severe cases.

Learn the potential causative factors for Achilles tendinitis and how to self-treat this condition so you don’t lose too much time with your training. Continue Reading →

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12 Strategies to Prevent and Self-Treat Muscle Cramping

RunningInjuryOnCalfMuscle cramping and spasming can significantly derail your best intentioned race plans.

A muscle cramp or spasm is a sudden, involuntary, and typically severe muscle contraction.

Thankfully, it’s very rare for a muscle spasm or cramp to permanently damage the muscle. However, the cramp or spasm can produce mild to excruciating pain. The pain can be very short lived or linger for days after a severe episode.

Unfortunately, muscle cramping can affect your performance. Common causes of muscle cramping include overexertion, prolonged immobility, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances. Continue Reading →

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Low Back Pain Prevention for Runners

StandingBackExtensionsLow back pain (LBP) is one of the most prevalent medical conditions treated in the United States and throughout the western world.

It is also the most common source of pain for runners. Runners often suffer from low back pain due to prolonged sitting and weak core muscles.

LBP can be safely self-treated if you handle your pain and symptoms quickly. In this post you will learn how to implement prevention strategies during exercise in order to avoid episodes of LBP. Continue Reading →

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