Before you begin running, talk with your physician, prosthetist, and other clinicians involved in your rehabilitation/health care treatment. Learning to use a prosthetic takes time and practice. Individuals that meet the minimum recommendations for running and have mastered walking on a prosthesis can begin running. The world of sports prosthetics has realized technological advancements to become highly refined and targeted for all levels of competition.
Every individual has specific healthcare needs, and guidelines should be considered to prevent injuries.
Talk with your healthcare team to ensure the skin can withstand the forces while running. If limb skin quality is insufficient, running can result in sores and blisters that prevent wearing a prosthesis until they heal. Other considerations include the following:
Agility drills are recommended to transition from walking to running.
Running on a prosthesis requires more energy. It could be recommended to use a running prosthesis instead of the everyday prosthesis. The energy needed to run is:
Asymmetrical loading is a common problem when running with a prosthesis. Runners want to use the unaffected limb more than maintain balance for reasons that include:
Beck, Owen N et al. “Reduced prosthetic stiffness lowers the metabolic cost of running for athletes with bilateral transtibial amputations.” Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md.: 1985) vol. 122,4 (2017): 976-984. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00587.2016
Bragaru, Mihai, et al. “Sport prostheses and prosthetic adaptations for the upper and lower limb amputees: an overview of peer-reviewed literature.” Prosthetics and orthotics international vol. 36,3 (2012): 290-6. doi:10.1177/0309364612447093
Kanas, Joanne L, and Mark Holowka. “Adaptive upper extremity prostheses for recreation and play.” Journal of pediatric rehabilitation medicine vol. 2,3 (2009): 181-7. doi:10.3233/PRM-2009-0082
Matthews, D et al. “Return to sport following amputation.” The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness vol. 54,4 (2014): 481-6.
Meyers, Carolyn, et al. “Heterotopic Ossification: A Comprehensive Review.” JBMR plus vol. 3,4 e10172. 27 Feb. 2019, doi:10.1002/jbm4.10172
Morgan, Sara J et al. “Mobility with a lower limb prosthesis: experiences of users with high levels of functional ability.” Disability and rehabilitation vol. 44,13 (2022): 3236-3244. doi:10.1080/09638288.2020.1851400
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The information herein on "Running With A Prosthetic Leg: Injury Medical Chiropractic Team" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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