Sports / Orthopedic

How a Five-Minute Analysis Improved Matt’s Running Routine

Sep 7 2023

Matt Clingman started his health care journey to improve his fitness by incorporating regular running into his routine.

Initially, everything seemed on track. But soon, discomfort set in – a persistent hip discomfort, a bothersome left buttock ache and a tight left hamstring. Matt brushed it off as minor, attributing it to the adjustment period of getting back to running. Yet, as the pain lingered, he decided to consult with his doctor for guidance – a decision that would pay off for him.

Having a background in health care, Matt believed he knew all there was about running. However, his appointments with the physical therapy team at Mercy Health — Willard Outpatient Rehabilitation and Therapy introduced him to a new perspective.

Running, as he discovered, involves proper form and technique. When he began working with his physical therapy team, they were attentive to his goals as well as experiences and conducted a thorough running analysis to uncover any underlying issues. This analysis yielded some great insights, revealing contributors to Matt’s discomfort.

“Overstriding was causing my hamstring issue, which was strained because I was violently stretching it out with every overstride,” Matt shares.

Matt also recognized the impact of “back seat running,” which strained his hip flexors, as well as the consequences of excessive vertical movement, leading to lower back and left buttock pain.

In just a brief five-minute analysis, these fundamental issues were identified, shedding light on the path to recovery for Matt.

“So great, we know what the problem is, how do we fix it and prevent it from recurring?” was Matt’s response to the team. The proposed solution, however, wasn’t as conventional as he anticipated. His physical therapy team recommended dry needling for his lower back and hamstring, prompting skepticism.

“When my physical therapist suggested dry needling, I was nervous, but I trusted them,” Matt says.

The trust Matt had in his therapy team revealed amazing results, leading to relief he hadn’t experienced in months. His hamstring and lower back found relief, enabling him to engage in prescribed exercise to continue to improve his progress.

Over subsequent weeks, his improvements were tangible, allowing him to return to his running routine. Months later, Matt’s commitment to running persisted, enhanced by the techniques he learned from his physical therapy team.

“I have shaved three minutes off my mile time,” Matt shares.

He even placed second in his age group at the Beulah Beach 5K and set a personal record.

Learn more about the rehabilitation and physical therapy services we provide at Mercy Health.  

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