The injury rehab water is murky. Most runners forego seeing a doc altogether. After all, who wants to be told to stop running? Those two words (stop running) have bred a distrust for doctors within the running community. Runners have sought asylum in the confines of Google searches and the forever “valuable:” phone a friend option. The obvious troubles linger on both sides of the latter options. For one, doc’s are stereotyped as running haters, all spewing the same “stop running” treatment option. The flipside offers little hope, too, as your friend is likely affirming what you read on Google (which is where they found their answer).
The distrust for the medical community is real—I know that. Timid runner’s visit me every week hoping those two austere words aren’t mumbled from my mouth. “Please don’t tell me to stop running,” they interject. Luckily, I’ve built my brand as being “runner friendly.” Mainly for being a runner and infrequently murmuring the forbidden words.
Whenever I’m working with an injured runner the number one question is “when can I start running again?” Through my work and own injury experience I’ve developed a protocol of sorts. The purpose of this article is pass on a piece of my injury rehab protocol. It precedes my “10 Minute Feeler” article that discusses the importance of keeping a short run on your first outing. Using the repeatable and rather simple test I’ve built to answer to the ultimate question: “CAN I RUN?”
I’ve used the test outlined below for nearly every runner I’ve seen since its inception two years ago. It’s worked nearly (but not always) flawlessly when determining the burning question on every runners mind. The test is my own little bearer of bad (or good) news. It’s easy for a runner to infer that they are/aren’t ready to run.
The test mentioned below is on the tail end of my return to running protocol. It’s part of the madness that is my treatment. It won’t tell you what you need to fix, how to fix it, or much in the details of your injury, but it will tell you if you’re ready to run. Whether you’re dealing with a banged up knee, sore Achilles, or a forever lingering hip injury, this test can make the “am I ready” conversation an easy yes or no answer.
Running through this test is fairly simple, requires no equipment, and is easy to score (pass/fail). The primary goal of the test is to determine if the body is ready to accept impact. It will test the injured tissue in multiple planes of motion, insuring that some degree of healing has occurred.
If you fail the test it becomes incorporated into treatment, which I discuss in the video below. If you pass the test you’ll simple move on to the next phase of my injury rehab protocol: the 10 minute feeler. Check out the video below to learn how to check your body’s readiness to run:
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Remember, there are multiple steps that precede this test. Those steps are injury and patient specific (me saying I really can’t give them to you). A simple rule: if you’re not functioning without pain in your daily activities, then you likely have no business attempting the test.
If you pass this test: on to running! Learn about your first run after injury by clicking here.
If you fail this test:
You should continue lower impact and functioning activities specific to correcting and re-loading your injured tissue prior to attempting the test.