Sail on silver girl...Sail on by...Your time has come to shine...All your dreams are on their way...See how they shine

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friendly Advice Friday-Returning from Injury Tip#1

Advice: Jump back into running!!!!

No, not the way you think I mean it.

Before a person can return to running pain-free, they must be able to jump pain-free.

During one mile of running, a person's foot contacts the ground ~ 750 times! The deceleratory flexion that occurs during the landing phase of jumping/hopping is equivalent to the early stance phase in running. Therefore, as a physical therapist, one way to give my patient (and myself) confidence that they are ready to return to running is to put them through a series of jumping/plyometric drills. By practicing jumping/hopping skills in the clinic before allowing my clients to hit the road or treadmill, I am able to observe their technique to ensure that proper alignment and control is being maintained when their foot hits the ground. If their body can handle 750 jumps/hops (and they are able to maintain their form throughout), then, in theory, they should be prepared to handle one mile of injury-free running.

The Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Inc. Department of Rehabilitation, has developed their own return to running protocol. I have found that putting my patients through their Phase II: Plyometric Routine has been a good way for me to critique their form, test their body’s tolerance to high impact and then determine whether or not they are ready to begin a return to running program.

I advise those contemplating returning to running after an injury to review Brigham and Women's protocol. I think that you may find some useful advice. I would also suggest trying the Phase II: Plyometrics Routine. Ideally, you want to perform these jumping skills in front of a mirror, making sure that your knees are staying in line with your hips. They should not be coming in together. If they are, it could mean a variety of different things, one being a sign of weak gluteus medius muscles. (See my post from last Friday for more information on that!)

Of course, I advise those that are seriously injured, to seek the advice of a physical therapist or other medical professional before returning to running. The article referenced above should just be used as a guideline/food for thought.

Happy, safe, injury-free running to all!

No comments:

Post a Comment