Postural Restoration Institute – Hope For My Running Injuries?

As a runner, is there anything worse than injuries? Good lord! As I’ve chronicled in my prior posts, I’m battling the dreaded injury bug on two fronts: (1) a nasty case of runner’s knee localized on my inner knee, and (2) a recurrence of a terrible upper back/trapezius pain that I mistakenly thought I had beaten months ago.

So my choices are to give up and go back to not running anymore, or making a serious effort to overcome the injury hurdle and get back to running injury free. I’ve chosen the latter path and have enlisted the help of a physical therapist to get me on the right track.

Postural Restoration Institute

The exercises that have been prescribed for me appear to be based on concepts from the Postural Restoration Institute. From what I can tell, Postural Restoration Institute is a approach to treating muscle imbalances in the body through a comprehensive evaluation of movement patterns. One of the focuses of the Postural Restoration Institute school of thought is to use proper breathing as a way to achieve stronger core muscles.

As I mentioned in my prior post, the main exercise for the back pain is to use the 90/90 hip lift balloon exercise. The idea of blowing up a balloon to combat back pain sounds a little crazy, but I have to say that I’ve experienced some progress.

Of course, the “progress” could all be in my head – the placebo effect – but my upper back already feels stronger and I understand the concept of trying to strengthen more core from the inside out.

As for the knee, the physical therapist prescribed the side lying adductor pull back exercise.  I could try to explain this rather complicated exercise, but it’s probably best to watch this video:

The basic idea of the exercise is to activate the adductor and glute medius muscle to assist in the stability of the femur. According to the therapist, one of the reasons for my knee pain is that my femur is basically inward due to the fact that my adductor and glute medius are not firing.

The unstable femur puts a tremendous amount of strain on the inner knee – thus the nasty and nagging “runner’s knee” pain.

Still Hoping for Hood to Coast

I apologize to all of those who have followed the blog over the last few months. It’s been pretty depressing with all of these injuries.  But it’s all worth it if someone is helped by any of my posts.  The biggest thing for me is to keep running and not give up like in the past.

I still have a goal to run in the Hood to Coast relay race at the end of August and also hope to run a tune-up 5k in July. However, I really need to get my body to state that allows me to run some solid tempos and interval workouts.  It is so hard to run a fast race without speed work.

Hopefully the techniques from Postural Restoration Institute can save the day. We will see!

Can Blowing Up a Balloon Decrease Back Pain?
Preparing the Calves for Speed Workouts

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