Running Medicine and Performance Program

Running Injury Treatment and Prevention, Performance Improvement

Call for an Appointment 855-855-6484

Whether you’re training for your first 5K, are a sprinter on your college track team, or are an elite marathoner, the last thing you want is an injury that stops you from reaching your running goal. Our team of experts at Duke Running Medicine specializes in injury diagnosis, rehabilitation, and prevention for runners. We also offer services to help you improve your performance. No matter your age or level of competition, we provide a full range of individualized treatment plans and services to keep you -- and your training -- on track. 

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Diagnosing Your Injury

If you have an injury that prevents you from running comfortably -- or at all -- our team of orthopaedic experts can help. At your first appointment, you will meet with a sports physical therapist or sports medicine provider who will ask about your health, current and past injuries, performance goals, and training. 

We will evaluate your flexibility and strength and will perform a running gait analysis, which helps us identify irregularities in your running form that could contribute to injury. We also have access to the full range of imaging technology including X-rays, fluoroscopy, ultrasound, MRI, and CT scans.

Our Locations

Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

Treatment for Runners, By Runners

Customized Treatment Plans

Once we understand how injuries or biomechanical issues are affecting your running, we create your individualized treatment plan. Most runners benefit from nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy. We can also make recommendations for gait retraining, strength and flexibility exercises, and training plan modifications. 

We Help You Get Back to Running

Our team of health professionals at Duke Running Medicine -- many of whom are runners -- understand the implications of injury and the joy of being on the road, track, or trails. We won’t tell you to stop running unless it is medically necessary. If you do need to take a break, we will work with you to create a recovery plan starting at your first visit. Our goal is to help you safely return to the sport you love, pain- and injury-free.

We Keep You Running During Pregnancy and Postpartum

Pregnancy and birth put a lot of strain on the body. Our pelvic floor physical therapists create a running plan so you can run for as long as possible during pregnancy, and get you back to running as soon as possible after you deliver. Our goal is to perfect your form, strengthen your pelvic floor and the surrounding muscles to prevent injury. After giving birth, we help you ease back into running safely. We offer complimentary evaluation events twice a year – once in the spring and once in the summer. You can also book a consultation with one of our physical therapists at any time. 

Wide Variety of Treatment and Rehabilitation Services

We offer a full range of treatment and rehabilitation services, including:

  • Physical therapy
  • Home exercise plans
  • Dry needling
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Gait analysis and retraining
  • Customized orthotics
  • Steroid and other injections

You’ll have access to advanced therapy equipment, like our anti-gravity treadmill and deep-water pool, to assist in your recovery. 

Referrals to Duke Specialists

Depending on your condition, physical therapy may be your first treatment. If you require additional care, we can connect you with the full range of specialists at Duke, from orthopaedic surgeons to sports cardiologists. Our close interaction with your providers means we work as a team to plan and provide your treatment.

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Performance Improvement for Competitive Athletes

We offer a variety of services for runners who want to improve performance while reducing the risk of overuse injury. We assess all aspects of your running including your running mechanics, training routine, nutrition, strength and flexibility, footwear, and injury susceptibility. Depending on your circumstances and goals, you may undergo one or more of the following tests.

  • Biomechanical assessment: A video-based running gait analysis allows us to break down and evaluate your running mechanics. We will review your foot strike, trunk lean, hip drive, hip and knee alignment, upper body mechanics, and more.
  • Metabolic analysis: Metabolic efficiency testing shows how your body performs at rest and during running. While it’s useful for all athletes, it is especially effective for endurance runners and triathletes. The metabolic analysis measures your lactate threshold, metabolic efficiency, running economy, and V02 max.
  • Nutritional testing: We offer body composition analyses, iron panel testing, vitamin D level, and more.

You will leave the session with a detailed summary and analysis of your results and an individualized plan for improving your running performance and meeting your individual goals.

Best Orthopaedic Hospital in North Carolina

Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our orthopaedics program is nationally ranked, and the highest-ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2023–2024.

Why Choose Duke

Care for Every Type of Runner

We offer care for all runners, regardless of age or performance level. This includes beginning and recreational runners and those competing at the high school, collegiate, or elite level.

A Team Approach

If you experience a running-related injury or want to minimize your risk or improve performance, you will receive comprehensive care from a team of specialists. Orthopaedic surgeons, sports medicine providers, sports physical therapists, athletic trainers, psychologists, and nutritionists can help speed time to recovery, provide training on injury prevention, and help you safely return to running.

Convenient Locations

We offer locations throughout the Triangle. Our team is also part of a larger network of orthopaedic care at Duke, offering you greater access to providers and locations, including our orthopaedic urgent care in Morrisville.

Research

Our doctors study biomechanics in conjunction with human performance testing through the Michael W. Krzyzewski Human Performance Laboratory (the K-lab) and use the latest technology in health and GPS monitoring on athletes to improve injury prevention and rehabilitation. We also conduct ongoing research to improve care for people suffering from sports-related pain and injury. For example, we are currently investigating knee cartilage response in runners.