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Running Info/Tips : Q & A with Dr. Michael Reeks

May 12, 2021

Today, we have a special article on tap for all of you recreational runners out there. One of my good friends, Dr. Michael Reeks, and I will discuss some of the more common running injuries and how to combat them! Dr. Reeks and I graduated from PT school together in 2016. After graduation, Michael and I were actually able to work together for about a year in the Baylor Health system. Dr. Reeks is now an avid runner himself and is extraordinary at rehabbing running athletes. See below for our question and answer session! 

Do you mind starting off by telling us where your career has gone since PT school?

Michael Reeks: "I started working for Baylor Scott and White Rehab in Burleson, TX (just south of Fort Worth) in 2016.  Since graduation I have been certified in Level 1 & 2 Dry Needling, blood flow restriction, & taken many other orthopedic & sports-related courses, including extensive taping and sports performance through BSW Rehab. I have been focusing on treatment of athletes, including running athletes, and am currently working on a manual certification through NAOIMT."

How did you get interested in running and the rehabilitation of running athletes?

MR: "I somewhat married into it; my wife ran cross country in college and that initially got me into running.  Since PT school I have run 5 half marathons and 1 full marathon. I did start to develop injuries with all the running and my interest really began there, trying to treat myself and my wife throughout training. It kind of budded from there and I have started reading more articles and trying to absorb as much information as I can to help myself, my wife, and my patients.   

What would you say are the 2-3 most common running injuries that you see?

MR: "Probably IT band syndrome, achilles tendonitis, and patellar tendonitis."

Do you think can those be prevented?

MR:  "Typical healthcare professional answer here... You can minimize risk and manage them well, but you cannot completely prevent these injuries in everyone.  You can minimize the risk by wearing the proper footwear, stretching or other soft tissue mobilization techniques, training dynamic movements, and performing the correct strengthening activities (Core, Hip, Knee, Ankle, Breathing, Postural).  It definitely gets complicated in some cases."

Here's every PT's favorite question.. what are 5 exercises/stretches that every runner should be performing?

MR: "That’s a pretty tough question; it’s hard to put everyone in a box because everyone is so different.  I do like incorporating compound movements with my exercises.  My list would probably be...

1) Side Planks on knees with a clamshell

2) Split squat hold with rowing on the opposite arm

3) Single leg heel raise with opposite leg quad stretch

4) "World’s Greatest stretch" - https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/how-do-worlds-greatest-stretch/

...and my personal favorite...

5) Barbell Deadlifts"

Great exercises! Final question, what's one piece of advice you'd give runners?

MR: "Wear the correct shoes for your foot type!" 

Thank you Dr. Reeks! If you need help finding out what type of shoe you should be in or if you're struggling with any of the above injuries, don't hesitate to give us a call! I hope y'all enjoyed our informational article this month. Stay tuned for more and check out our Instagram tomorrow to learn how to correctly perform these exercises discussed in our article. Be sure to share this article with all of your crazy running friends! 

- Chase Patterson PT, DPT (5/12/21)