Runner Julio Salazar Knows There’s No Quick Fix For Running Injuries
When Julio Salazar came to Summit Orthopedics, he hoped for a quick fix for a painful running injury. He recounts his six-month journey to recovery, and how Summit’s team supported his goals every step of the way.
Julio Salazar can’t imagine his life without running. Night trail runs are his time to meditate while staying fit. But running is more than that—it is also a coping mechanism that helps him handle the depression he has battled since he was a teen.
“Running is not a solution for depression, but it helps me,” says Julio. “When I am running trails alone, I’m living in the moment, and it gives me peace.”
When a persistent injury made running painful, Julio contacted Summit. His sports medicine physician, Dr. Amy Beacom, proposed a six-month physical therapy program. “I had just started a new job, and I was impatient that there wasn’t a quick fix,” Julio remembers. “I couldn’t make the time commitment. Dr. Beacom told me that if I ever wanted to come back and give her six months, she could fix me. She was very honest, and I loved that. But I wasn’t ready.”
Two years later, Julio was back. “I had a bad experience in a ten-mile run,” he says. “I knew that if I wanted to continue running, I had to do it right. Dr. Beacom remembered me, and asked me if I was going to stick with her this time. That was the best. She challenged me, and I was committed to getting better.”
Julio’s medical assessment included a video of Julio running on a treadmill. “That video was the best,” he says. “I finally understood the things that I was doing wrong. My therapist, Stephanie Kinsella, and I watched it together, and she pointed out the things we needed to correct. We worked on my gait, and did exercises to strengthen my leg. Honestly, I thought running was just putting on a pair of shoes and taking off. I didn’t know how to run, how to land on my feet, or how to move my arms. I learned that all these mechanisms are very important if you are a runner.”
“Stephanie was never happy until I was doing the exercise the right way,” Julio grins. “My team at Summit really cared.”
Julio worked with Stephanie once a week, and reviewed his progress with Dr. Beacom every month. “I did my exercises for at least 30 minutes every single day for six months,” Julio says. “It became like a religion for me. It was not a quick fix. I began to see results about three months into the program. I wasn’t feeling pain any more. Today, I still do some of the exercises I learned.”
Six months later, Dr. Beacom told Julio that he could start training again. “I was so happy,” Julio remembers. “I left Dr. Beacom’s office and went for a ten mile trail run. I felt like a brand new person. I have found that life is so beautiful to live when you have a purpose and a cause. Summit supported me, and gave me the opportunity to support others through my run for Break The Stigma.”
On May 4th, Julio will run across the state of Minnesota to raise awareness about the stigmas surrounding mental illness, and to raise funds to support people with mental illness disorders.
You can learn more about Julio’s work through Break the Stigma.
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