Although in principle, running can seem straightforward, it’s a surprisingly complex sport to pin down. Optimal running efficiency comes down to pretty basic biomechanics, and it is shockingly normal to cause harm to your body due to running deficiencies. Any type of injury has been suffered by up to 79 percent of runners, whether it is a light ankle sprain or more long-term injuries including a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
In particular, ACL injuries can be a grueling injury for runners, and in the past 30 years, sadly, it has become a growing concern. In a given year, there are around 100,000 to 200,000 cases of ACL ruptures, and a majority of these individuals undergo ACL reconstruction surgery in order to return to athletic activities successfully (and safely).
Since ACL rehabilitation is a lengthy process, in order to ensure proper recovery, most individuals are expected to undergo physical therapy. In particular, physical therapy focuses on the rehabilitation of a full range of motion and muscle strength by the participant, both of which are necessary for performing a range of sports and everyday activities.
It can be difficult to hold back on your normal preparation after struggling with the pains of ACL trauma and reconstructive surgery. And while the value of erring on the side of caution is understood by many athletes, it is common to feel antsy about getting back to physical activity.
So, the obvious question becomes: when is running again safe?
Well, usually, surgeons will advise their patients that three months is ample time to heal before running again. If you’ve had an ACL reconstruction in the past, the same time frame was probably given to you.
And maybe 3 months doesn’t sound too bad, but is that real, actually?
Technically, yeah. And by that, practically, we mean very well.
In most situations, three months is only enough time for the ACL graft structure to have healed enough to withstand running forces. That is all well and good now, but that is the bare minimum in the process of healing.
Although you can handle your running with the ACL graft itself, it’s not the only important thing to bear in mind. Other aspects of the process of recovery need more effort (and time) to ensure that they do not hinder your ability to run or place you at greater risk of reinjury.
So, let’s explore the process of recovery in a little more depth to better understand how it functions and what improvement looks like.
- Jogging can be started after 2 months.
- Running after 3 months.
- Running underwater with the aqua treadmill at 6 weeks
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