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Running with an Injury

Shane McClinton, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, CSCS

July 17, 2012

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Question

When you are treating an injured runner, do you have them stop or limit their running?

Answer

Runners are so motivated to stay running. In some regards running can actually be productive in the healing process as long as we are utilizing it in a way that is appropriate with the stage of their condition and the nature of their tissues. If they absolutely cannot run without having severe pain, then we may have to limit the running to a certain extent or do some aquajogging. I try to find something that they can do that might not load the tissues that are painful but load all of the tissues around it. So, if they can, I keep them running. We might have to adjust their volume (decrease how much they are running). You can also do some modifications. If you've looked at the biomechanical literature, there are modifications that you can make that will decrease the stress which allows them to run with less pain. For example knee pain, our most common condition, you can decrease the load through the knee joint by changing their step rate. So if you increase their step rate a little bit, oftentimes there will be a decreased load through the knee that may be just enough to allow them to keep running while you are performing your rehabilitation. And then you can decide after that point if you may want them to resume a different step rate.


shane mcclinton

Shane McClinton, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, CSCS

Shane McClinton, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, CSCS is a physical therapist at the Des Moines University Physical Therapy Clinic and Human Performance Laboratory. He graduated with a Masters in Physical Therapy from Des Moines University – Osteopathic Medical Center in 2001 and obtained his post-professional doctorate in 2007. Dr. McClinton completed fellowship training through Regis University in Denver, Colorado and has achieved Fellow status within the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT). He is now pursuing his Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD) in Orthopaedic and Sports Science through Rocky Mountain University in Provo, UT. Dr. McClinton is board certified in Orthopaedics (OCS) and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) whose clinical emphasis is on the management of movement-related and function-limiting conditions in adult, geriatric, and athletic populations. He directs the Des Moines University Running and Cycling Clinic focusing on physiological/motion analysis, injury prevention, and rehabilitation for runners, cyclists, and triathletes of all ages. In addition Dr. McClinton instructs the Des Moines University post-professional manual therapy interventions course. His research interests include outcomes of musculoskeletal physical therapy management including integration of manual therapy and exercise in addition to analysis of dynamic and static characteristics of individuals with musculoskeletal disorders. 


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