- Family Doctor/General Practitioner
- Orthopedic specialist
- Physical Therapist
- Do nothing, let it heal on its own
The majority of respondents in our unscientific poll said they would consult a physical therapist first for treatment. Interestingly, the second most popular choice and the top choice among those who have run for the most years was to do nothing, let it heal on its own.
Of course a competitive runner participating in an upcoming track or cross country season may not have the time for this option. Few of the respondents recommended either the family doctor/general practitioner and none recommended a Chiropractor. Some of the respondents also suggested a podiatrist as the best person to consult. Here are some of the responses:
Steve Scott former US Mile Record Holder now head coach at Cal State San Marcos: "I would definitely send them to a physical therapist."
Former US national champion and running author Tom Osler who has been running for over 50 years and has run over a thousand races:" I would do nothing, let it heal on its own."
Bernd Heinrich, also has over 50 years running experience, and is an author and former world and US record holder in ultramarathon events: "I would let it heal on its own, usually after a couple of months I make an appointment to go see a doctor, but it has already started to heal on its own."
Greg Meyer, the last American to win the Boston Marathon, Set 10 American road racing records at the following distances: 8K, 10K, 15K, 25K, 10 Mile. Set two world records in the 15K and the 10 Mile now at Aquinas College: "If I knew what the hamstring injury was...stain or pull vs a tear...I'd try to go right to a massage therapist. If I thought I ripped it...and of course now with the HMO's requiring a doctor's referal for PT...I'd need to go there first. For a hamstring I would also see a podiatrist. These injuries take a lot of time and I feel gentle Physical Therapy. Easy stretching...ice...time off."
Coach Roy Benson, national coach and one of the leading experts on Heart Monitor training in the country: "I'd probably see a massage therapist because I wouldn't consider that (hamstring strain) an "injury." However, if I wrenched my knee as I tripped on a root on a trail, I would see a MD, preferably an orthopod with Sports Medicine certification. But if I just tripped and wrenched my back as I fell, I would see a chiropractor who has the confidence of the running community. In either case, if I needed followup therapy, I would then have them refer me to a Physical Therapist. If anything below the knee was bothering me,. I'd consult a DPM (Podiatrist)."
Gerry Lindgren, former US and world record holder (27:11 6 mile) and best US High School runner (8:40 2 mile, 13:44 5k) of all time: "I would turn to other runners who have had similar injuries, and try to treat it myself."
Jonathan Beverly, national class runner, coach and Editor at Running Times: "I would recommend a Sports Physical Therapist.
Because all of my "serious" injuries have eventually been cured by one."
Dr. Avery Faigenbaum (EdD, CSCS, FACSM at The College of New Jersey and one of the leading researchers on stretching and strengthening in the country):
"I would recommend a sports Physical Therapist who has experience working with runners."