Did You Know? Summit Has a Running Program

Summit Orthopedics physical therapist Sam Olson, PT, DPT, OCS, gives you the lowdown on Summit’s running program.


Running is great cardiovascular exercise. For many runners, it’s also a great way to help them keep their lives feeling balanced and their mental well-being strong. But although it’s great for overall health, running can be tough on the musculoskeletal system. It’s a high-impact sport that involves a lot of repetitive stress on the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. This can result in injuries. Fortunately, Summit’s running program is here to help.

“Summit’s running program is specifically designed to tailor to the needs of people who run and people who have gotten hurt from running,” said Sam Olson, PT, DPT, OCS, one of Summit’s physical therapists and a running specialist.

The program’s goal is to help people stay healthy by preventing running-related injuries, as well as to get people back to running after they’ve already sustained an injury. The program is helpful for people who are already dedicated runners, but it’s not exclusively for serious athletes. The running program can also benefit people who are just getting started with running.

“If, for example, you’re doing a “Couch to 5K” training program, our running specialists can help you as you begin to make running an exercise habit,” Olson said. “We can address any difficulties or roadblocks that might be preventing you from getting into a running routine safely and pain-free.”

What causes running injuries, and can a running program help?

Often, there are certain running-related factors that can lead to injury. Some examples are:

  • Inflexibility
  • Running form faults
  • Training faults
  • Lack of strength

Running injuries can be painful, and they can cause a decrease in training frequency or volume. “If a running injury gets really bad, it can bleed into your daily activities, affecting sleep and quality of life,” Olson said.

How does Summit’s running program work?

To address a runner’s specific issues, the program starts with a detailed evaluation. “During the evaluation, we’ll do various measures and tests to determine if the runner has some of those running-related factors present that need to be addressed,” Olson said.

During the evaluation, Summit’s team will also get the runner on a treadmill to examine the individual’s running form and pinpoint potential issues. The process also includes taking a detailed history, including previous training injuries. “The patient history can tell us quite a bit about what is contributing to the runner’s injuries,” Olson said.

After the evaluation is complete, the running specialist will make recommendations and a treatment plan for the individual. “The number of sessions will be different for everyone. It’s not a set number of weeks or sessions. It depends on the runner’s specific needs,” Olson said.

Overall, Summit’s running program is a great resource for new and experienced runners alike. It can help prevent injuries from happening, and it can help runners return to the sport safely after injury. “Getting someone back into an activity that serves as a stress reliever, a habit that helps them maintain their mental health, is hugely important,” Olson said. “We’re proud to use our expertise to help runners maintain this key part of their daily or weekly routines.”

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