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Running in the clinic

Running in the clinic

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Rachael, Errol, Sarah and Hans during their preparation for the Oxfam Trailwalker in 2013 Rachael, Sarah, Hans and Errol during their preparation for the Oxfam Trailwalker in 2013

BJC Health has turned into a clinic full of runners!

One of our exercise physiologists, Tom Patterson, just ran the Sydney marathon, our dietitian and blogger Chloe Mcleod is running the Melbourne marathon this weekend (her second marathon, she wrote about her first on her blog).

Errol, Sarah, Belinda and Hans of course are also running the Hong Kong Oxfam Trailwalker, a gruelling 100km of stairs, hills and sand in just over a month on November 14-15.

Why do we do it? Why do we encourage this running for our staff throughout our clinics?

There is understanding derived through book learning and clinical experience but there is also emotional understanding, really "getting it" which we can only get through being on the other side of the patient-practitioner relationship.

Our running helps our physiotherapists, dietitians and exercise physiologists to better understand what patients are going through and the patience to better emotionally understand or "get" the long, improving road of therapy, diet and exercise needed for those with chronic arthritis.

In preparing for these marathons, we find it can take a year of training just to reach an adequate training load to prepare for the event well and without injury. Fascia takes 300 days to make the appropriate physiological changes to cope with increasing loads and intensities. That's why it takes athletes years to peak at long distance running.

Dietary changes for fat-loss and better health too are best approached in a gradual, long-term manner. Long-term problems require long-term solutions, but this requires a lot of commitment and determination on both sides of the patient-practitioner relationship.

And so our physios, dietitians and exercise physiologists get treated by our physios, dietitians and exercise physiologists over a period of years while preparing for these events. Our clinicians see our treatments from the other side and grow as a result.

We have to be patient enough to work according to the timeline we know works. Having this experience in running helps reinforce in us the patience and perseverance needed to treat long-term problems for long-term results in our patients.

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