Proprioception and Running Coaching Training Sessions


Proprioception and Running coaching training sessions

What is proprioception and why should all runners know how to train it appropriately?

The number one risk for running injury is history of previous running injury. Why does this matter?

Proprioception is the ability of our nervous system to know where our body is in space, it’s our sense of awareness of movement, length of muscles, position of our joints, speed of movement and sequence of activation of different muscle groups involved in the same movements (neuropathways). Our nervous system likes to activate the same neuropathways when performing repetitive movements such as walking or running. However, when an injury occurs the nervous system will alter the muscle sequence activation to avoid loading the injured area in order to still move without pain. This mechanism is called compensation. Compensations may affect the biomechanics and health of our joints. For instance, if an injury occurs to the right foot, our nervous system may compensate by loading more of the left lower limb in order to decrease the load over the right foot. In the medium or long term you may develop a secondary injury to the left lower limb if you keep running without addressing the compensation.

How to prevent secondary injury? We need to train our proprioception!

In our running clinic Maria, one of our Consultant Physiotherapist, Osteopath and Running Technique Coach has developed a unique method to address running injury and running injury prevention. She will carry out a running injury assessment and based on the stage of your condition, she will develop an individualised treatment plan with exercises aimed at stimulating your nervous system to improve proprioception. The benefits of this approach are that your balance, your posture and your movement patterns will be more functional, effective, and will prevent secondary injuries.

Maria has trained in athletics for many years and participated in several competitions at national level. She believes that once the injury is no longer symptomatic the treatment isn’t necessarily over. Yes, there is more to improve.

Compensation mechanisms don’t just stop when the pain goes away. Thus, when you go back to running after an injury, those compensations can affect other parts of your body at a later stage.

During her assessment, Maria will take running videos to inform her analysis of your gate technique. She will provide you with feedback and develop a suited treatment plan which might include a running technique coaching session. A coaching session will address your running movement patterns. You will learn how to perform running drills and exercises that are specific to your condition and to master a more efficient and safe running style, which ultimately will also enhance the overall running performance, increasing speed and endurance. But there is more..

Maria will conclude your coaching session with a general osteopathic treatment for runners, aimed at preventing further injuries. This will include the assessment and treatment of restricted joints, fatigued muscles and tendons which may become overloaded in the process of learning your perfectioned running style.