Running After Injury
Having a history of an injury does not necessarily mean that you have to stop running. Common thought used to be that running is bad for your knees, but research shows us that if we train smart and consistently, running can actually be a good thing for maintaining our joint health. When we get back to running after an injury without improving muscle imbalances, it may set us up for getting hurt again. Physical Therapists that specialize in running rehab can help to get a person back into running with reducing the amount injuries and wear on their joints.
A thorough evaluation by a therapist will include muscle strength testing, flexibility testing, evaluation of footwear and running gait analysis. Running can be observed by the therapist but technology can give much more information to determine need in changing running form or developing specific strengthening or flexibility exercise based on the individual’s movements. Two main methods that we use at Franklin Rehab are Video Gait Analysis and use of a new technology called the DorsaVi.
Video Gait Analysis takes video images from 4 different vantage points that can be slowed down enough to observe subtleties in gait mechanics that need to be worked on.
The DorsaVi has 2 small devices that attach to the lower legs that send data to computer including Ground Reaction Force showing impact on each leg as they hit the ground, time that each leg is in contact with the ground, information on cadence and speed while running.
Using these methods to get large amount of information on a person’s running mechanics helps the therapist determine very specific exercises to improve muscle imbalances, develop running drills, changes in running mechanics and also to help determine the intensity of running that is safe for a person to run when rehabbing an injury. This data can also be used to help aid a person who is just starting out with running, progressing their running distance or training for an event.
If you would like to have a free consultation to determine if you would benefit from working with a Running Specialist to treat an injury, get back to running after an injury or work on preventing injury with running, you may call (414) 448 – 3097.
Article by Jennifer Riley DPT