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How to Rehab an Injury the Right Way, with Jimmy Picard DPT

With the injury rate for runners hovering around 70%, most of us will have to deal with injury rehab sooner or later. Using an active approach to recovery will put you in the driver’s seat and get you on the road to healthy running.

While prevention is always the best medicine, injuries happen to the best of us. In our “quick fix” world it’s easy to jump to modalities of treatment that are often marketed as immediately effective.

Have you ever tried…

  • dry needling
  • cupping
  • massage
  • aggressive tissue manipulation (i.e., the Graston technique)

While all of these treatments can play a role in recovery, few of them have any science that supports their effectiveness for injury rehab. And they often leave out the most important person in the equation: you.

Our guest on this week’s podcast, Jimmy Picard, is a doctor of physical therapy in Salt Lake City. He emphasizes the importance of taking an active role in the recovery process, rather than leaving your recovery in the hands of others. 

With his physical therapy expertise working with endurance athletes, his history as a former cross-country runner at the College of William and Mary, and his experience as a Cat 2 cyclist, Jimmy has unique and valuable insights into effective injury rehab for runners.

When it comes to healing yourself, Jimmy believes in the science behind the active components of injury rehab – including physical therapy exercises and strength training –  where you are the driving force behind the process.

“Our bodies are designed to heal while we move.”

When you have a running injury, you may equate recovery with sitting on the couch, waiting for an injury to heal. But Jimmy explains how aerobic activity plays a huge role in the recovery process.

He compares this process to “poking the bear.”  What does that mean, exactly?

  1. First, rehab requires load management so that you are doing the amount of training that your body can tolerate at any given time. 
  2. Second, you need to find that spot on the spectrum of your rehab where you are just about to hit your limit.
  3. When you hit that limit you can (and should) “poke the bear” – meaning that you poke into the pain you have been experiencing but don’t get over-aggressive with it.

Rehab done right requires constant trial and error where you test yourself, see your body’s response, and adapt accordingly.

In the podcast, Jimmy also discusses how your outlook and planning for recovery can make all the difference, including:

  • Taking a holistic approach to recovery
  • Avoiding catastrophic thinking
  • How to manage the 2 buckets of recovery: calming down and building back up
  • Avoiding extremes in the recovery process: why shutting it down and pushing through an injury are both ineffective

Whether you’re injured or not, you’re bound to learn a lot from this comprehensive discussion about injury rehabilitation!

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Links & Resources from the Show:

Thank You InsideTracker!


Our show is supported by our longtime sponsor InsideTracker. Today, more than ever, it’s essential that we’re making the right decisions to keep our bodies healthy. To help us be resilient, prevent over-training, and optimize our running to get the most from it.

InsideTracker is the ultra-personalized nutrition platform that analyzes your blood and DNA biomarkers along with your lifestyle habits to help you optimize your body and reach your goals.

InsideTracker’s patented system will transform your body’s data into knowledge, insights, and a customized action plan of science-backed recommendations. The data can help you determine whether you’re running too much, not enough, or have some other issues that could be affecting your recovery or performance.

I’ve had my own blood drawn with InsideTracker several times and have been amazed at the valuable information that they provide. Not only are the results very detailed, but they also share guidance for how to improve any markers that are out of range.

If you’re ready to take control of your health and optimize your training, InsideTracker offers a selection of plans that best suit your needs with a limited time 25% discount.

Thank you Elemental Labs!

A big thanks to Elemental Labs for their support of this episode! They make electrolyte drinks for athletes and low-carb folks with no sugar, artificial ingredients, or colors. And you can get a free sampler pack of 4 flavors and 8 individual packets when you pay $5 in shipping.

Elemental Labs’ products have some of the highest sodium concentrations that you can find. Anybody who runs a lot knows that sodium, as well as other electrolytes like magnesium and potassium, are essential to our performance and how we feel throughout the day.

The citrus flavor has quickly become my favorite. I’m drinking one a day now to help me get enough fluids in our dry Colorado air. It’s tasty and delicious and I find that I’m not peeing every 45 minutes throughout the day, which might be an indication I wasn’t eating enough sodium.

There’s now mounting evidence that higher sodium intake levels are not unhealthy – and athletes need substantially more than your typical sedentary person. Of course, ask your doctor if you’re worried. But for those athletes running outside in the heat, an electrolyte replacement makes a lot of sense.

They just released their first new flavor of 2021, their most requested flavor, watermelon salt. So check out Elemental Labs to try their new flavor or get a free sampler pack. 

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