Are You Ready to Start Running Again? This Self Assessment Will Help
If ankle injuries occur, it’s important to give your body time to recover. That said, how do you know when you’re ready to run again? This short self-assessment is used in sports physical therapy in Bethesda and Chevy Chase to gauge when patients are ready to return to running after an injury.
- Do you have enough dorsiflexion?
Dorsiflexion is the action of moving the foot upwards towards the shin. The degree of dorsiflexion in the foot/ankle plays a major role in avoiding injury, increasing speed, and improving efficiency.
We recommend dorsiflexion of 15 degrees or more before a return to running.
- The single-leg hop test
Can you perform a single-leg hop (at least a couple feet) with a soft, steady landing that’s similar between both feet? Athletic physical therapists frequently use the single-leg hop test to determine the patient’s ability to return to high-level athletics after an injury.
In addition to comparing your results to the accept recovery rates, it’s important to measure how your ankle feels when performing a single-leg hop test. Ideally, the pain level during the test should be 0/10.
- Is cardiovascular health good enough?
After several weeks or months of inactivity, there’s a good chance the patient’s cardiovascular health has declined. To return to running safely, it’s important to increase running time and distance gradually. This ensures the body has enough time to adapt to the added stress of running again.
Injuries are bound to happen at some point. The key is to give your body enough time to recover by making sure you don’t return too soon. By following this simple self-assessment, you’ll help ensure you don’t re-injure yourself by returning before your body is ready.