Crossing the Finish Line Again – Mom Remedies Running Injury with Physical Therapy

Christy Leonard took up the sport of running as a way to stay healthy, but it soon became an important stress-reliever for this busy mom of three who balances family with a full-time job.

“I wouldn’t know what to do if I didn’t have running,” Leonard said.

While training for the Cowtown Marathon, her healthy hobby came to a halt. She experienced an injury that completely stopped her running career.  She tried everything she could imagine to treat it — seeing a chiropractor, practicing yoga, even trying cryotherapy — but nothing brought her the relief she needed to get back on her feet again.

“I was still clueless as to what it was,” she said. “It was basically a mystery diagnosis.”

Seeking help and hope, Leonard visited Damond Blueitt, M.D., a primary care sports medicine physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Fort Worth and Orthopedic Specialty Associates, a Texas Health Physicians Group practice.  X-ray tests of her leg were inconclusive, and an initial MRI showed some inflammation along the hip muscle. Rest and physical therapy were recommended, but only brought temporary relief.

Blueitt was determined to find an answer. He ordered an MRI with contrast to better understand what might be going on.

“The MRI with contrast came back showing that she did have some labral tearing,” he explained.  The muscle that connects the hip to the leg joint was torn. Leonard was also dealing with what is referred to as a “sports hernia.”

Blueitt worked directly with the physical therapists to carefully direct and follow Leonard’s progress through non-invasive therapy treatments for her injury. He prescribed specific physical therapy to strengthen her hip and to accommodate for any weakness or imbalances.

Working with Blueitt and the physical therapists at Texas Health Sports Medicine, Leonard became pain-free. “Over time, it felt like the muscle around the injury was growing,” she said.

In addition to getting her back on her feet, doing physical therapy helped Leonard understand how to land and absorb impacts while keeping her hips even. This is learning that she says she can use to keep her body as healthy as possible for a lifetime of running.

Leonard has returned to running and also began hill training. Crossing a finish line at a race at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., she achieved yet another goal: finishing the Dopey Challenge.

“I would recommend Texas Health Sports Medicine to anybody, any runner, anyone that is looking to better themselves,” she said. “They can help you, and they have done it for me. It’s just the best decision I have ever made.”

Damond Blueitt, M.D. Orthopedic Sports Medicine

For dedicated physicians like Blueitt, the sound of their patients crossing finish lines is like music to their ears.

“The thing I love about my job is that I keep people active,” Blueitt said. “My job is not to stop you from playing your sport, or to stop you from doing activities; it’s to get you back to doing those activities.”

To schedule an appointment with a sports medicine specialist, call 1-800-916-8080 or visit our online Find a Physician tool.


Providers employed by Texas Health Physicians Group are not  employees or agents of Texas Health Resources hospitals. ©2019

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