Resolve Knee Pain Without Surgery
Real Success: One Runner's Journey Back to Pain-Free Running
Bryan Hunter has been a runner for more than 30 years. For him, it's more than a way to keep healthy. It's his hobby - what he looks forward to. Best of all, it's something the 57-year-old can do with his daughter and son. The three of them have run many races together over the years and he wasn't about to let knee pain keep him from spending that time with his kids.
"I've been fortunate to run for as long as I have without a real injury," Bryan says. "So when I started developing this pain on the inside of my knee that wouldn't go away, it was the first time my running - my hobby - was threatened." Bryan saw his family physician who gave him a cortisone injection. It helped for a while, but the pain came back. "I started not running as much, and opting for the elliptical instead," Bryan says. "I had signed up for a half marathon with my daughter and was really starting to question whether or not I was going to be able to do it."
When talking with a coworker who was also a runner, Bryan learned about Alex Volfson, PT, DPT, a physical therapist with St. Francis Therapy Center. "She highly recommended him and I asked my physician for a referral," Bryan says. "He was very personable and seemed genuinely interested in me as a person. When I told him about my plans for a half marathon, we got to work on a program to get me there."
Through his initial evaluation at the Gait and Motion Laboratory at ST. FRANCIS millennium, Bryan learned some surprising things. "I always thought I was wearing the right shoes, but I found out that based on the way I ran, I wasn't," he says. "That made a big difference off the bat." "John's motion analysis revealed several problems including moderate weakness , decreased balance, and an increased stride length," Alex says. That's when John started coming to therapy regularly to work on strength, balance, and education about running mechanics. "I can honestly say it was one of the few times in my life I actually looked forward to going to a medical appointment," Bryan says.
The two worked on strengthening and Alex developed an at-home running and walking program for Bryan as well. "Because I was so motivated I did all of the at-home exercises exactly as I was supposed to do," Bryan says, "and the pain did start going away." So much so that Bryan completed the half marathon with his daughter in October without pain.
"My son is in the Marines, and my daughter and I have signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon next year," Bryan says. "Even though my physical therapy treatment has officially ended, Alex still has been a resource for me and helped develop a training program for the marathon."
St. Francis Therapy Center offers highly trained and experienced physical therapists, as well as some of the most sophisticated technology in the region. In addition, receiving care at the St. Francis Therapy Center ensures access to award-winning orthopedic programs and orthopedic physicians and surgeons at St. Francis. St. Francis Therapy Centers offer eight centers in the Upstate - find the one most convenient to you!
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