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Impact Assessment Postpartum


If you are returning to run postpartum, we have talked about in some previous blogs, looking at assessing your strength postpartum, and then assessing your balance as well. The third thing I look at is impact. We want to assess our body’s ability to respond to impact before we start our return to run, because running is just impact. We want to make sure our bodies have the ability to respond and absorb that impact, and tolerate the pressures that come with running. I’m going to take you through the assessment that I take individuals through in the clinic to get an idea of what their tolerance to impact is.

I take them through three different activities:

  1. The first one is double leg hops. This is two-feet hopping up and down. I set a metronome to 150 beats per minute, so they can hear that quick cadence, and then they’re just simply hopping up and down. The goal is to hop for 60 seconds, but if for some reason you have pain, or you feel like you’re going to leak or you do leak, or you have any feelings of heaviness, or those prolapse-type feelings, then that’s where we stop.

  2. We do two feet and then we’ll go on one leg hopping for 30 seconds. Again, I set the metronome to 150 beats per minute, so they can hear that cadence, and we hop up and down each leg. Again, the goal 30 is seconds, but we stop wherever you may have symptoms.

  3. The last test we go through is just running in place. For this one, I again, use a metronome on my phone, so you can hear the beat, and I set it to 170 beats per minute. We run in place; the goal is 60 seconds.

If you go through that assessment, and you find yourself struggling in any of those areas, you can turn the assessment into your treatment. For example, if you hopped on two feet, and you were able to have for 30 seconds, before you leaked, you would take those double-leg hops, and you would repeat it three times, stopping when you feel like you’re going to leak and then repeat that again. You are just adding this in with whatever you are doing for your strength work already – about two to three times per week, you’re just doing your double-leg hops, working for that 30 seconds, resting and then repeating. If for some reason we can’t make progress, maybe you’re just stuck at that 30 seconds, you can take it back by decreasing the speed. Sometimes we’ll have people set a metronome to like 120 or find whatever speed they have, that they can go without symptoms. Sometimes just slowing the jumps down can help.

If you’re really struggling with impact, and the jumping just isn’t going to be doable for you. You can even start with a bounce where we’re just bouncing and then progress into a slow hop. You’ll get to the point where you’re able to tolerate a faster hop.

Those are just a few different impact ideas. If you’re someone out there who is postpartum and is looking to return to run, you definitely want to start to get your body used to tolerate an impact again, before you jump back to running

Here at Peak Endurance Performance & Physical Therapy we help active adults in the Madison Area get back to the activities they love without pain or limitations. We see people of all ages, ability levels, and individuals trying to get back to a multitude of movements including: getting back into running, women postpartum, CrossFit athletes, climbers, gymnasts, wrestlers, overhead athletes, and your recreational weekend warrior. If you’re looking to get back to the activities that give you meaning, relieve stress, and make you feel like you again, feel free to reach out below and we’ll see if we’re the right fit for you.