Injured Runner 8: Clearance

In the world of physical therapy we give our patients clearance. Clearance to return to sport. Clearance to weight bear. Clearance to increase their activity in numerous ways.

Part of my failure to progress has been that I was not following the rules: The rules that a PT would use to guide their own patient. It’s my own fault, and it particularly asinine because I know all the rules. In fact, one of my main focuses in my treatment is foot and ankle. I love working with lower extremity patients. Foot and ankle injuries get me excited.

After a recent discussion, which I spoke about in my last post, several of my team-mates started taking a more active role in my recovery. The physical therapists are guiding me to recovery. You cannot treat yourself perfectly. You cannot even measure yourself perfectly. That’s a truth I cannot express more simply, but involving a team in your care is extremely important.

Since that time a 6 week rehab program has been developed for me. That 6-week program includes range of motion exercises, edema management, strength training, balance training, and a walking program.

Today I started the walking component because I have been taking it easy and icing for 5 days.

The rule for me at this stage is that I cannot walk, unless A.) it does not produce any increase in pain, B.) I must complete an ankle warm-up sequence at the start, C.) the stiffness that I feel at the beginning must dissipate over the walk, D.) I cannot have any late stage (end-of-walk) increase in pain.

Today I trialed a walk on soft surface (outdoor/grass). The walk was a success. I only attempted 1-mile. Over that mile the slight irritation I had in the beginning reduced to non-existent by the end with no return for the hour afterwards.

I am now cleared to begin a progressive walking program.

Every walk I take will be measured to exact distances and I will not be bypassing the rules of progression.

Never give up, set-backs are just opportunities to figure out what didn’t go well last time.


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