Treadmill Running vs. Outdoor Running

Treadmill Running:
1. Predictable running surface
2. Treadmill belt assists leg turnover causing faster stride
3. Can adjust the incline
4. Decrease proprioceptive training due to predictable surface
5. Decrease likelihood of injury due to predictable surface

Outdoor Running:
1. Wind resistance- increases your workload from 2%-10%
2. Unpredictable running surfaces- increases chance of injury
3. Different running surfaces offer proprioceptive training to increase ankle stability
4. Changes in running pace/stride due to climate changes

No matter where you decide to walk or run, you will achieve substantial cardiovascular, endurance, strength, and weight loss gains. Harbor Physical Therapy provides running assessment and evaluation to help achieve your exercise goals. Please contact Harbor Physical Therapy for more information.

What is a Stress Fracture?

A stress fracture is an incomplete fracture of bone caused by repetitive stress.  It is found within a weight bearing bone, such as the bones within the foot. A stress fracture has also been termed a “hairline fracture”. Symptoms of a stress fracture include tenderness in the area and pain with weight bearing.

Stress fractures commonly occur in athletes that play sports requiring excessive running.  They also occur in sedentary people who begin to exercise.  This happens because their body is not used to exercise; therefore, it is overwhelmed by the repetitive weight bearing forces.  Stress fractures can occur from muscle fatigue.  Our muscles help to provide stability, support, and shock absorption for our bones.  If these muscles become fatigued, our muscles ability to perform the role of shock absorption decreases.  This causes increased risk for a possible fracture. 

After a stress fracture, rehabilitation consists of decreasing weight bearing on the fractured bone to allow it to heal.  After the bone heals, physical therapy is often recommended to strengthen the muscles surrounding the injured bone to return the patient back to all daily activities and to prevent re-injury.

Plantar Fasciitis

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is an irritation of the thick ligamentous connective tissue on the bottom of the foot. This band of tissue runs from the heel to the ball of the foot providing support for the arch of the foot.  Plantar fasciitis is common in runners.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

1. Over pronating with walking/running– pronation is where the inside of the foot touches the ground more than the outside.

2.  Wearing old shoes– shoes lose their support after approximately 500 miles of wear.

3.  Excessive walking with improper foot support– shoes that do not provide arch support.   An orthotic might be needed to provide increase support to the arch of the foot.

4.  Tight calf muscles


Pain is felt at the bottom of the heel.  Pain is usually worse in the morning and improves throughout the day.  Pain increases with prolonged standing or sitting.


1.  Rest

2.  Ice

3.  Massage to the bottom of the foot

4.  Stretching– refer to the previous blog topic on Why does my calf cramp?  How do I relieve it?

5.  Night splinting

If the pain is still present, physical therapy can help with Plantar Faciitis.  Consult with your physician or physical therapist to determine the next step for you.    If you have any questions about Plantar Fasciitis, please contact Harbor Physical Therapy.