Serious or Soreness? Addressing Running Injuries


Courtesy of Becca Huesman, PT, DPT & the physical therapy/sports medicine team at MedStar Health Physical Therapy at Federal Hill – Baltimore, MD


runningFall marks the end of Baltimore’s humid season. As the weather turns slightly cooler, runners look forward to a season full of long-distance events and running festivals. Whether you have your sights set on an early fall event in October, such as the Baltimore Running Festival, or waiting on cooler weather, such as during the Philadelphia Marathon event series, remaining injury-free up to race day is a major priority.

Early detection of injuries significantly influences the rate at which that injury can be resolved. Experiencing muscle soreness is a normal side effect of any training program that pushes you beyond your current physical limits. Muscle soreness typically onsets within the first 24 hours following an intense work out. That soreness may linger, but should begin to subside within 24 hours after the soreness onset. Muscle soreness is usually described as “aching,” “deep,” or “sore.”

Sharp pain is not associated with a hard workout and could potentially be a sign of an injury starting. If you experience sharp pain in a bony area with every foot fall while running, and potentially walking, this may be a sign of a stress reaction developing. Stress reactions tend to occur most commonly in the tibia (shin bone), metatarsals (foot bones), and femur (thigh bone) in runners. If you are experiencing consistent, sharp pain, this should be examined by a medical professional.

Numbness, tingling, and burning sensations are also unusual sensations not associated with tough training. If these words describe symptoms that you are having, then a nerve-type issue may be occurring. A common nerve that can be affected in runners is the sciatic nerve, which travels from the base of your spine down the back of your leg. Symptoms typically experienced when the sciatic nerve is affected include pain or tingling in the buttock and/or down the back of the thigh. This is also a condition that should be examined by a health care provider.

MedStar Health, located at 1420 Key Highway, has a team of medical professionals organized to address the needs of neighborhood runners. Dr. Ken Veenema is a sports medicine primary care physician with over 20 years of experience working with athletes in all sports. He partners with Mike Zarro and myself, both physical therapists who combine personal running experience with current medical technology to comprehensively treat runners. At this physical therapy location, there is video technology to provide runners with a detailed assessment of their running style as well as Alter-G Anti-Gravity Treadmill technology which is used to return to running in a low impact environment.

For more on our MedStar Health Physical Therapy at Federal Hill site click here –

Contact info is below:

Federal Hill
1420 Key Highway, Suite 300
Baltimore, MD 21230
[email protected]

Children’s National and MedStar Sports Medicine team up for Concussion Awareness in the District

WASHINGTON, DC – Children’s National Health System and MedStar Sports Medicine are spearheading a first-of-its-kind concussion awareness and training pilot program, funded by the District of Columbia Department of Health, to develop sustainable strategies for the District’s Athletic Concussion Protection Act of 2011. The Act applies to athletes in the District of Columbia who are 18 years of age and younger, who participate in any athletic program in or out of school. The Act requires coaches, parents, and school personnel be trained in concussion recognition and response, which compels the athlete to be removed from the field or court following a suspected concussion, only to return to play after a healthcare provider experienced in concussion management provides written clearance to do so.

Over the course of six months, Children’s National and MedStar Sports Medicine will provide education and training events for youth, student athletes, athletic program administrators, coaches, school nurses, teachers, and parents. The goal is to educate each group on how to identify a suspected concussion and when student athletes can return to school and play. Working with various government, school, parenting, and athletic organizations, the partners will continue to evaluate and improve concussion awareness, implement training programs, and help to develop and enforce the stipulations surrounding the Athletic Concussion Protection Act.

Co-Principal Investigator and MedStar NRH’s Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer Michael R. Yochelson, MD, believes in the importance of detection, stating, “It is critical that everyone involved in youth athletics has the ability to recognize the signs  and symptoms associated with concussion in order to remove student athletes  from play if a concussion is suspected.”

“Traumatic brain injuries affect millions of young athletes annually,” says grant lead, Children’s National Spokesperson, and Co-Principal Investigator Gerard Gioia, PhD. “By educating and working with the community to identify a concussion and manage it, we can ensure that our children have the greatest potential to succeed not just on the playing field but at school and the other aspects of their lives.” The partnership between Children’s National and MedStar Sports Medicine is an important one, as both organizations bring significant expertise and resources for the protection of student athletes from the effects of concussion.

While the first of a series of train the trainer events began today, June 18, the beginning of the grant’s activities began on May 11, 2015, when the grant leaders sponsored the event “Scholar Athletes to Successful Leaders,” at The City Club of Washington, DC. Shireen Atabaki, MD, MPH, from Children’s National presented the Concussion Care & Training Program. During her presentation, she emphasized the fact that the District of Columbia is the first jurisdiction to fund training and public awareness for Athletic Concussion Protection. This initiative will focus on underserved student athletes who are the most vulnerable. The day-long forum brought together District school athletic teams and DC Council Members, where they discussed various topics including workforce development, health, wellness, and concussions.

“The District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH) believes that establishing a pilot concussion program to support the Athletic Concussion Protection Act will help pave a national pathway for other states nationwide, as concussions affect young athletes everywhere. This is part of Mayor Bowser’s mandate to improve the health and wellness of the residents of our city,” notes DOH Director, LaQuandra S. Nesbitt, MD, MPH.

Although estimates of mild traumatic brain injuries, or concussions, are unclear at this time, well over 1 million are believed to occur annually among student athletes, making it a serious public health issue in the United States.


About Children’s National Health System

Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, DC, has been serving the nation’s children since 1870. Children’s National is Magnet® designated, and was ranked among the top 10 pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report 2015-16. Home to the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is one of the nation’s top NIH-funded pediatric institutions. With a community-based pediatric network, seven regional outpatient centers, an ambulatory surgery center, two emergency rooms, an acute care hospital, and collaborations throughout the region, Children’s National is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as an advocate for all children. For more information, visit, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit

About MedStar Sports Medicine

MedStar Sports Medicine, an initiative integrated throughout MedStar Health, is one of the premier sports medicine programs in the country. Over the past 30 years, MedStar Sports Medicine has grown to include more than 36 physicians, 23 certified athletic trainers and a network of therapists, nutritionists, and support staff at MedStar’s ten hospitals and diversified services. Focused on patient care, education, research and team relationships, this network of medical professionals is dedicated to enhancing the health and performance of all active people. More than 40 sports organizations, including the Washington Nationals, Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Baltimore Blast, and US Lacrosse, have chosen MedStar Sports Medicine as their official medical team. Visit us at, or call 888-44-SPORT (888-447-7678).


Emily Hartman
Children’s National Health System
[email protected]

Derek Berry
MedStar Health
[email protected]