knows all medical workers that work with runners have to
answer the question; “Can I run?” It is often answered
differently. Here is a good one from a favorite PT.
This is a question all physical therapists have to answer when we treat injured runners. We all answer it differently.
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A friend of mine recently sought orthopedic consultation for recalcitrant left knee pain, which set in this past June after completing a half ironman. The orthopedist diagnosed him with patellar tendonitis and advised him to refrain from running until he was able to climb stairs pain-free. Following this advice, my friend took a break from running and diligently iced his knee. After a few weeks, he found that his knee was actually feeling better to the point where he was able to negotiate stairs without issue. He was excited because this apparently meant that he was ready to run. I remember speaking with him before his first outing and immediately grew wary of the situation when he told me that he was going to “try” running. Anytime someone uses the phrase “try running” after injury, I know disaster is imminent. Inevitably, his knee pain resurfaced landing him back at square one while further prolonging his recovery. Knowing that I am a physical therapist, who specializes in the care of endurance athletes, he asked me how I know when an injured runner is able to return to training.