Why Runners Benefit From Postural Restoration Therapy
June 2nd, 2021
Running is one of the most innate and natural movements humans can do, and yet those who regularly engage in it often continue to be perplexed and frustrated by the aches and injuries that can accompany it. Our ancient nomadic ancestors would regularly run down their hunting prey across vast plains for hours at a time, yet they probably weren’t grabbing at a nagging IT band or wearing $250 Nike super shoes…were they? And NO, this is not a diatribe on barefoot running.
Put in more anatomical terms, some of the top keys to successful running are effective transfer of weight from one side to the other, and opposite/reciprocal rotation between the pelvis and trunk. Sounds simple enough, but it’s easier said than done. We are built inherently asymmetrical through the rib cage and diaphragm, and our lifestyles and positional habits reinforce this. We sit more than ever, like to reach and carry things on one side, and we often have one hip we favor with the way we stand or sit (take note of yourself next time you sit in your favorite spot on the couch). This affects how well we can move, shift weight, and rotate.
Traditional physical therapy and strengthening can work for some, but often fails to effectively show if someone is able to rotate, shift weight, and even breathe optimally for healthy running mechanics to occur. I myself am one of the many who could not do any of the above well, and have the resume of running injuries to prove it. It wasn’t until I was treated with the approach of Postural Restoration that I could see that although I could run 50 miles in a week, I struggled with basic functional movement tests. It took a while for me to be able to graduate from basic Postural Restoration movements to more challenging, and finally integrating these concepts into both running and daily activities. I’m happy to say I’ve been running regularly and keeping up with my exercises regularly (usually!). Only now, I have integrated these approaches into my own PT examinations and treatments as a clinician to help others with their activity goals- and running just happens to be a personal favorite of mine.
Whether you are a serious or recreational runner, you should consider the Postural Restoration (PRI) approach- particularly if previous approaches have left you frustrated. If you are repeatedly treating the symptoms of an injury to no avail, you may be missing the root causes that ultimately lead to tissue overload and injury. At Thrive Proactive Health, we are uniquely specialized in PRI and have innovative treatment techniques that can unlock the door to healthier running where other approaches have failed.
Meet Lee: PHYSICAL THERAPIST + KEMPS RIVER CLINICAL DIRECTOR
Lee believes that we all need to take personal responsibility for our health and wellness, but from time to time we need to rely on the expertise of others to get there. He likes to be the one to help close that gap for people so that they can take it from there and continue doing what they love.
He has been working since 2002 in various outpatient orthopedic physical therapy sites treating those including athletes, weekend warriors, post-surgical ortho patients and people with everyday wear and tear injuries.